The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has taken a major step towards curbing corruption in the licensing process. Chief executive, advocate Makhosini Msibi, led a raid at the Meyerton licensing centre in Gauteng, resulting in the arrest of several officials who were found with large sums of cash in their possession.
According to Msibi, the operation had been ongoing for the past six months, with intelligence gathered over that period. The identified officials were involved in various criminal activities, including the fraudulent issuance of Code 14 driver’s licenses. These licenses were being issued in the absence of the applicants, with some individuals obtaining licenses while residing in the Eastern Cape.
In addition to the driver’s licenses, the licensing centre was also involved in fraudulent roadworthy certificates. Vehicles were not even present during the certification process. Furthermore, during learner license classes, runners were writing exams on behalf of applicants. These runners were often affiliated with driving schools that brought applicants to the licensing centre.
Msibi highlighted the lax procedures followed during the licensing process. Learner drivers were not required to answer questions or undergo eye tests. This corruption was rampant at the Meyerton licensing centre, with individuals from as far as the Eastern Cape and Limpopo involved.
The raid resulted in the arrest of six officials, including the senior official responsible for managing the station. Msibi confirmed that four other individuals were also apprehended. Efforts to locate and apprehend those who fled will continue throughout the weekend.
Msibi stressed the importance of addressing corruption in the licensing process, as it directly impacts road safety. South Africa currently spends R146 billion annually on road accidents, including medical care for those involved. The lack of competent drivers on the road contributes significantly to these accidents. Issuing driver’s licenses to individuals who cannot drive poses a serious risk to public safety.
Greed was identified as another factor driving corruption at the licensing centre. Despite having permanent employment, officials were found with large amounts of cash in their possession. This tax-free income was earned through illicit means.
The RTMC’s raid and subsequent arrests mark a significant step towards combating corruption and improving road safety. Efforts to ensure that the licensing process is transparent and fair will continue, with the aim of reducing road accidents and saving lives.
— Road Traffic Management Corporation (@TrafficRTMC) October 20, 2023