Fake licences 'must go' - minister
DO THE RIGHT THING: Transport minister Ben Martins says the effects of licences fraudulently obtained are clear to see.
Author: Devereaux Morkel
Transport authorities are bent on rooting out the issuing of fraudulent driving and car licences, transport minister Ben Martins has said.
"We need to ensure that there isn't corruption with regard to the issuing of driving licences. Unfortunately," he said, "the horrors, the facts, of fraudulent licences are to be seen on our roads."
NOT GOING ANYWHERE SOON
This was a problem that should be tackled together by the provinces and the national government. Fraudulent licences would remain a problem for some time, but the department was working on it.
"It's not an issue that we can say we will eliminate in six months, but it's an issue that we have to give the required attention."
His department was also looking into Putco bus operations after the June 25 accident in which a driver lost control of a bus near Meyerton, Gauteng. It drove off a bridge, killing 20 people and injuring 55.
The department noted reports that a number of the Putco buses had fraudulent roadworthy licences.
"It is the responsibility of our department to ensure that we regularly pay visits to those authorities that issue licences. So that we are sure that the licences issued are valid licences. That's an on-going challenge that you will not be able to solve overnight."
Martins said it was an area of "grave concern" for the transport department, but it was ready to deal with it. "It has a great impact on our people... It's an aspect of our work that we take very seriously."
RELIABLE, EFFICIENT TRANSPORT SYSTEM
Martins told the Southern African Transport Conference that a reliable and efficient transport system was essential to the functioning of society. The transport sector should contribute to socio-economic development and investment in infrastructure should leave behind more than power stations, railway lines, dams, and roads.
Martins said state-owned companies and entities were contributing to infrastructure development.
"Transnet and Sanral have allocated R300-billion and R133-billion, respectively, over the next seven years for infrastructure development."