Cape Town - The City’s safety and security directorate, under the political direction of mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith, has turned its spotlight on its own staff with outstanding traffic fines.
This comes as the Western Cape High Court on Friday clarified that taxis and other vehicles can be impounded if they are being operated without permits, if the driver is without a licence or public driving permit, or where vehicles are not roadworthy.
The Cape Argus approached the City to verify a tip-off from a source who alleged that City staff were being targeted in a new campaign.
In response to our queries, the City said the move was part of an awareness drive among its staff to remind them to visit the City’s website (www.cityofctviewfines.co.za) to view their traffic fine status, and to settle any outstanding warrants to clear their names.
The City said: “In fact, this is a drive to encourage and urge City staff to finalise outstanding warrants in order to avoid consequences such as arrest, similar to any other persons who have outstanding warrants against their names.”
Traffic Service spokesperson Maxine Bezuidenhout responded to fears that City staffers would be treated differently from ordinary motorists if they missed the deadline for either paying or disputing their traffic fine and did not show up in court to defend themselves.
Bezuidenhout said: “No, this is not true that staff are treated differently – there are legal processes and court procedures to be followed and every one with a traffic fine should adhere to the relevant legislation.
“City staff are not receiving preferential treatment at all.”
Meanwhile, the province and the City have welcomed the high court judgment and said in a joint statement this would put an end to misinformation about the exact terms agreed to between the City, the province, and the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco).
Santaco said it was vindicated in its view that minibus taxis can only be impounded on the three grounds agreed upon.
They said these grounds excluded the contravention of any condition imposed on operating licences, including but not limited to operating off-route.