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Dept to help recover municipal debt

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Five vehicles were procured for law enforcement and dispatched to the Kimberley.

Lebogang Motlhaping. File image

THE NORTHERN Cape Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison will work closely with Provincial Treasury and the Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta) to recover all outstanding municipal debt, to increase the revenue collection of the provincial government.

During his budget speech on Wednesday, the MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Lebogang Motlhaping, stated that the main revenue generator in the Province was derived from motor vehicle licence taxes, which constituted more than 90 percent of the department’s income.
Motlhaping said that the issuing of temporary operator licences would be decentralised to ensure that operators in more remote areas have ready access to the system.

“The decentralisation of the temporary licensing function will include John Taolo Gaetsewe (JTG) and ZF Mgcawu districts, by deploying two fully-equipped mobile operating licensing vehicles to these districts as a pilot project. The vehicle that will be stationed in ZF Mgcawu will serve that area as well as Namakwa. The one stationed in Mothibistad will service the entire JTG district, and surrounding areas. The Kimberley office will continue to service the Frances Baard and Pixley ka Seme districts,” said Motlhaping.

He stated that there were 4 793 registered vehicles with operating licences in the Province.
“During the period under review, there was a moratorium on the issuing of new operating licences due to a backlog that had to be managed. As a result, the Provincial Regulating Entity (PRE) can now implement major changes underpinned by control measures to eradicate the illicit issuance of operating licences, as well as clear operational systems.”

Motlhaping said that the gender unit had been incorporated into the office of the HOD.
“We believe firmly that we need to elevate issues facing youth, women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) employees and members of our communities. Officials in this unit are actively involved in a range of activities, forums and events to address issues of equality, discrimination and awareness.”

He added that a task team had been established to raise awareness regarding human trafficking, child safety and missing children.
“A human trafficking awareness campaign will continue to run at high-risk areas identified in the Province, such as Postmasburg, Kuruman and Kathu. This is in an effort to educate children and youth about the dangers of human trafficking.
“A domestic violence awareness campaign under the theme ‘enough is enough’ will be implemented in the Province to educate our vulnerable communities on prevention of and reporting of domestic violence.”

Motlhaping pointed out that alcohol and drug abuse remained one of the main contributors of contact crimes in the Province.
“A substance abuse awareness campaign will be held at crèches, schools, colleges, university, places of safety and correctional centres.”
Motlhaping said the department would work co-operatively with investigating authorities to root out all forms of corruption.
“As a Province, we have to report that we are not exempt from corruption, with three traffic officials being arrested.”

He said approval for a driver licence testing centre in Galeshewe was received in the year under review.
“The department and provincial Traffic are currently engaging the Road Traffic Management Corporation’s information technology unit for the installation of E-Natis equipment to make this centre a reality.”

He added that despite intensive road safety campaigns, 305 fatalities had been recorded in the Province.
“Factors causing fatal crashes are mainly attributed to human error. More than 77 percent of those involved in crashes are male. In the age distribution curve, we also find a higher representation of youth in fatal accidents. Critical days of the week are between Thursdays and Sundays, between 4pm and 2am, particularly within the municipal boundaries.”

Motlhaping stated that R750 000 had been set aside to replace the departmental traffic fleet. “To date five vehicles were procured for law enforcement and dispatched to the Kimberley, Jan Kempdorp and Springbok traffic stations.”
He said that 3 821 stolen firearms, cash to the value of R249 million and 1 946 dangerous weapons had been confiscated during roadblocks and searches.

Programme 1: R79 million
Civilian oversight: R27 million
Transport: R93 million
Transport regulations: R91 million