Cape Town - The Western Cape Mobility Department handed over 31 of 122 of its new fleet of specialised high-performance BMW vehicles to the provincial Traffic Law Enforcement Unit.
The new specialised vehicles will replace existing patrol vehicles in the Traffic Enforcement’s fleet. The Mobility Department said they have been upgraded for the rigours of traffic law enforcement on provincial and national roads.
Features of the specialised fleet include automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras, which interface directly with the National Traffic Information System (NaTIS), providing officers with critical information within seconds.
Western Cape Mobility MEC Ricardo Mackenzie handed over the new specialised and branded vehicles at the N1 Huguenot Toll Plaza.
The handover comes months after the ANC, Cosatu and the Good Party asked Mackenzie for a full account of why there had been a delay in the handover and why Mackenzie was not disclosing the number of vehicles.
In July, provincial ANC mobility spokesperson Lulama Mvimbi questioned Mackenzie, saying that what the MEC had said about the cars not being ready due to delays caused by the tender process for fitting reflective marking, branding and installation of technology, was untrue.
Mvimbi commented on coming across a photograph of the vehicles fitted with the reflective markings. He also questioned why Mackenzie mentioned 50 vehicles when it had already been disclosed that there were 110 vehicles in total.
However, speaking at the handover, Mackenzie revealed that the launch of the 31 vehicles would be followed by the release of 91 more, to be rolled out across the province over the coming weeks as a substantial boost to safety ahead of the festive season and upcoming school holidays.
“The Western Cape is still the only province that has a 24/7 presence of traffic services protecting our roads and actively reducing road crash fatalities. Our Provincial Traffic Law Enforcement was also the first enforcement agency to use in-vehicle technology, pioneering the on-board ANPR cameras over the last few years,” he said.
Commenting on the handover of the vehicles, Mvimbi said the ANC caucus in the Western Cape legislature viewed the development with reservations, not as a cause for celebration.
Mvimbi said: “The delay in this handover, coupled with the revelation that 100 other vehicles remain idle in government garages, raises significant concerns regarding the efficacy of the DA-led provincial government’s management.
“While we recognise the Western Cape government’s efforts, failure to deploy the remaining vehicles represents a substantial oversight that demands immediate attention. Given the impending festive season, road safety cannot afford such delays.
“We urge the government to swiftly rectify this situation to ensure the efficient and effective utilisation of these resources,” Mvimbi said.