Thousands of traffic fines issued by the City’s law enforcement agencies has seen an extra R324million owed to the City at the end of April. File picture: Motlabana Monnakgotla/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Cape Town - Thousands of traffic fines issued by the City’s law enforcement agencies has seen an extra R324million owed to the City at the end of April.

The biggest contributors to the City’s transport coffers are errant taxi drivers, as the City’s Safety and Security directorate reported that over 132000 traffic fines were issued monthly, predominantly to taxis. “Traffic fine accruals are due to more than planned fines (it is) as a result of improved law enforcement measures put in place i.e. number of active cameras, roadblocks, etc,” said Kevin Jacoby, the City’s chief financial officer.

Commenting on the City’s financial report, mayco member for Safety and Security JP Smith said: “If you’ll recall, the City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Directorate has instituted a number of measures in recent years to try to address the non-payment of fines.

“For example, we have announced an increase in resources to launch the sustainable warrant operation, which has seen more warrants executed and income derived from that process.”

Smith said that the City is currently increasing capacity of the Transport Enforcement Unit and Operation Reclaim to address transgressions in the public transport sector, including taxi violations.

“We have also increased our focus on Operation Restore, which has resulted in an increase in the number of taxis impounded for operating without valid operating licences or operating in contravention of their operating licences.

“What this means is an increase in revenue around impoundments fees, as taxis are reclaimed within 24 to 48 hours of being impounded.

“It is also likely that more people are paying their traffic fines in light of the step up in warrant executions. That said, the revenue derived by safety and security doesn’t rest on traffic fines alone.”

Meanwhile, City said it’s one step away from increasing its policing numbers by easing the recruitment process for metro police officers.

Currently, anyone who applies for a metro police post is required to be a registered traffic officer, in terms of the Municipal Police Services regulations.

This means that, even if the candidate has the skills and qualifications in all aspects required for the Metro Police Department, they cannot be appointed unless they are a registered traffic officer. Even new recruits are required to complete the 12-month traffic qualification first, before moving on to securing their municipal policing qualification.

“After seeking legal opinion, the City petitioned the National Police Commissioner in March, who responded favourably to a request to waive this particular recruitment requirement.

“The commissioner, however, directed the Metro Police Department to approach the Western Cape MEC for Transport, since current legislation prohibits interference with the powers of the MEC for traffic matters. We have asked that the MEC considers our request to register persons qualified and found suitable during an extensive recruitment process, as traffic officers, notwithstanding the fact that such persons might not have successfully completed the training.”

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Cape Argus