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Gauteng traffic cops have reportedly come up with a way to make a cool R11 million a year.
Once again using motorists as cash cows, the cash-strapped National Traffic Police Unit is said to have instructed its officers to issue 15 traffic fines each a day.
If the 268 officers reach the target, they could generate more than R11 million a year.
According to insiders, the latest move is to keep afloat the unit launched last year with much hype by former transport minister S’bu Ndebele.
The unit was established to crack down on drunk driving and corruption, and to reduce deaths on national roads.
The members were also supposed to help the SA National Roads Agency Ltd monitor Gauteng’s e-tolling system. However, e-tolling has been put on hold pending the outcome of legal proceedings.
The Star has been reliably told that the unit’s acting deputy chief, Jody Pillay, instructed the officers during morning parades to each issue 15 traffic fines to ensure the unit is self-sustainable.
A source said: “He reminded us that the target was 15 traffic fines each day. He also repeated the same thing in a management meeting.”
He added that the unit’s head, David Tembe, opposed the fines quota, saying officers should not go out to issue tickets but to make roads safer.
It would appear that fuming officers, who are still on probation, told authorities it would be impossible to reach the target as they had to deal with accidents and other things in the 12 hours they spent on the roads.
“This is not in our performance contracts.”
One officer said: “We were surprised when we were told the target was 15 traffic fines. What is surprising also is that this was not in writing, it was only verbal.”
Pillay has declined to comment and has referred all questions to Road Traffic Management Corporation spokesman Ashref Ismail, who downplayed the issue, saying each officer should check 15 vehicles.
Meanwhile, motoring lobby group Justice Project SA’s national chairperson, Howard Dembovsky, has hit at traffic enforcement in the country.
He has accused it of being “revenue driven”.
“This reported move is a clear symptom of what is so wrong with traffic enforcement in this country,” Dembovsky said.
“It’s a pity that this is so, and it’s also a pity that people will readily compromise their principles when their own futures are at stake.
“But that is the reality of South African traffic enforcement - and will be, until such time as the entire ethos and practical implementation of traffic enforcement here changes.
“This kind of nonsense will continue and people will continue to die on our roads,” added Dembovsky. - The Star