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eNaTiS 'ready for demerit system' - The Star, 31 May 2010
Posted on May 31, 2010 15:22

By Anel Lewis

Tasima, the company responsible for managing the National Traffic Information System (eNaTiS) since it was launched in 2007, has had its contract extended for a further five years.

Its next big challenge will be the rollout of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) and the points demerit system, which is expected to be implemented nationwide from July.

The company was formed in 2001 to develop and maintain the eNaTiS system with the Department of Transport.

But the system got off to a shaky start when it was launched in 2007, with widespread reports of system failures and delays, including backlogs in the registration of new cars.

The project was also marred by allegations of corruption and cloning, with the details of a vehicle being used to legitimise a stolen one.

But Tasima's new chief executive, Tebogo Mphuthi, said these issues were resolved more than three years ago, and that most of them were teething problems that cropped up in the first weeks after the system was launched.

He said eNaTiS was more than ready to tackle Aarto and the demerit system.

It was running at 99,9 percent during office hours and handled about 2 200 concurrent users at a time. It could perform 700 000 transactions a day, or 16 million on average in a month, Mphuthi added.

The eNaTiS system is a database of all vehicles registered in the country. Mphuthi said the system might in the near future also be used at toll points to pick up illegal drivers.

He said eNaTiS had been modified to minimise possible corruption and criminal activity. Only three people nationwide can remove a vehicle that has been reported stolen from the eNaTiS system.

Mphuthi said auditors based at a critical transaction centre monitored transactions to identify any irregularities. Staff were rotated so that those with access to the licence-renewal information would not be able to work on any other transactions.

But there are still reports of long delays for licences and of desperate people opting to pay bribes rather than wait to get a test appointment.

Cope MPL Herméne Koorts said the price of a licence at the Vereeniging testing stations varied from R2 000 to R2 500. Learner drivers could avoid going for their tests by paying the fee.

If the money was paid upfront, the licence would be ready the next day. Long waiting lists for driving licence tests meant many had to redo their learner's licence several times while waiting for a slot.

When The Star contacted the driving licence call centre, the next available appointment for a learner's licence was on June 24.

Mphuthi said delays in applying for or renewing licences were not the fault of the eNaTiS system.

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