Pretoria - The National Traffic Information System (eNatis) must be handed back to government immediately, the High Court in Pretoria ordered on Monday morning.
Judge Neil Tuchten ordered Tasima, the company which had been running the system for a number of years, to immediately vacate the Waterfall Park premises in Midrand, from where it has been operating the e-Natis system.
The company must hand over the control of the system to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), as well as all access codes, keys and necessary data.
The judge also ordered that if Tasima failed to comply with this order, the Sheriff is authorised to evict it from the premises. The Sheriff may take all steps necessary to evict Tasima, including using the services of specialist or expert service providers.
It is not yet clear whether Tasima will appeal this ruling, which followed an urgent application by the RTMC which requested Tasima’s immediate eviction.
The RTMC and the Department of Transport told the court that the Constitutional Court in November gave Tasima 30 days in which to hand over the system. That was after that court found that the extension of Tasima’s tender by government was unlawful.
Tasima, on the other hand, said it needed time to do so as this was not a simple process. According to Tasima the Constitutional Court merely meant that the process must start within 30 days of its order and not that everything had to be completed within 30 days.
According to Tasima the Constitutional Court did allow for a migration plan to ensure that the handover went smoothly and over a period of time. It was said that the e-Natis system is a nationwide system of enormous complexity. It administers more than R14-billion in road traffic revenue and processes more than 500 million transactions a year – on average more than two million per business day. It manages more than 11.3 million vehicles and more than nine million drivers.
Government said it was ready and able to take over the system and it accused Tasima of stalling the process as it wanted to cash-in.