The eNatis system relies on dedicated Telkom lines to serve every vehicle registering authoraty in South Africa. Picture: eNatis

Johanesburg - The Gauteng North High Court has ordered Telkom to restore telephone services to eNatis - again - after the the Road Traffic Management Corporation brought an urgent application before the court on Wednesday.

RTMC spokesman Simon Zwane said late on Wednesday: "The RTMC brought an application before the court today after Telkom had disconnected telephone lines to eNatis - a national key point – for the second time in a month".

Zwane said the disconnections disrupted the functioning of vehicle registering authorities throughout South Africa. 

"The registering of vehicles, new driving licences and road traffic contravention could not be carried out for some hours because of the disconnection."

Zwane said the court had granted the RTMC an interim order instructing Telkom to restore all suspended lines and related services with immediate effect. He said Telkom was ordered to return to court on 19 February 2018 to give reasons why the order should not be made final.

"This is the second time this month that Telkom has been ordered to desist from disrupting the functioning of the eNatis system," he said. "On 3 October the court instructed Telkom to restore all services after it had suddenly disconnected all the telephone lines used to operate the eNatis." 

Arrears owed

On that occasion the court ruled that "a rule Nisi is issued calling upon the Respondents to show cause on 18 October 2017 or as soon as the matter may be heard thereafter as to why the hereinabove not be made final”. Zwane said Telkom did not go to court on the stipulated date but proceeded to disconnect services to eNatis five days later.

Telkom is on record as saying the reason for the disconnection of service related to arrears owed. However, Zwane said the amounts in arrears were owed to Telkom before the RTMC took over the administration of eNatis. 

"The RTMC maintains that it has paid for all services rendered by Telkom from April when it took over the administration of eNatis until today," he insisted.