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New eNaTiS lease - Business Day, 28 June 2010
Posted on May 28, 2010 15:29

By Luphert Chilwane

Johannesburg — DESPITE a public outcry that the national traffic information system (eNaTiS) had caused chaos when introduced in 2001, the Department of Transport has renewed a contract with the Traffic Administration System Information Management Agency to manage and maintain the system for another five years.

The system came under heavy criticism soon after it was introduced as it often failed, causing chaos and long queues at several licensing stations around the country. Vehicle owners and dealers complained that it could not register new vehicles or was often too slow to process vehicle, licensing and traffic information.

Sam Monareng, spokesman for the department, said yesterday the department had decided to renew the contract despite the challenges . " The delivery of services to members of the public has been considerably satisfactory," Monareng said.

eNaTiS is an electronic system that processes traffic-related transactions through automated teller machines and the internet.

Monareng blamed "external factors" for caus ing the problems experienced by the system . He said the department believed the system would be improved to provide a better service as it was providing a critical service.

"When the contract for the development and maintenance of eNaTiS was awarded in 2001, provisions were included in the contract to manage smooth and orderly handover of the system from the current service to the state upon expiry of the contract.

"Schedule 15 of the contract mandates the department upon expiry of the contract to implement the transfer management provisions as contained in the original contract."

Monareng said the department was planning to use staff to take over certain functions performed by the company. This meant it would issue separate smaller tenders for some technical services that could not be performed internally.

The company's CEO, Tebogo Mphuti, said he was excited about the extension because it would provide an opportunity to improve the system even further.

He denied earlier problems were caused by the system, saying it had maintained virtually 100% availability during business hours for the past three years.

"When service centres are unable to connect to the eNaTiS, this is almost invariably the result of their telecommunication lines being down - in other words, the system is available, but people are unable to connect to it."

He said when the company was awarded the contract in 2001, there were many challenges.

"When the contract was awarded in 2001, it was a challenge for us to convert every (bit of) information to an electronic format," he said.

One notable success was migrating 4,6-billion records from 14 decentralised databases and establish ing nine provincial help desks and data recovery centres.

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