Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi, has announced that the Department of Roads and Transport has cancelled the registration certificates of two private vehicle testing stations in Soweto and Pretoria due to alleged fraudulent and corrupt practices.
The Innovative Roadworthy Testing Station in Soweto, owned by Themba Nxumalo, and the Hercules Roadworthy Centre in Pretoria, jointly owned by Ahmed Suliman Ismail and Afzal Abramjee, were closed down on Friday after an investigation by the provincial roads and transport department.
“As part of the Gauteng government’s commitment to improving road safety and its zero-tolerance approach towards fraud and corruption the registration certificates of these two testing stations were cancelled on 1 March,” said Vadi.
“They have to shut down with immediate effect and stop all roadworthy testing of vehicles,” said Vadi.
He confirmed that the closure of the testing stations came as a result of a lengthy investigation by his department, which was triggered by the arrests during last year of eight employees by the SAPS Special Project Investigations Unit, the National Traffic Police: Anti-Corruption Unit and the Department of Community Safety’s Compliance Unit.
As a result of these investigations three examiners of vehicles and one cashier were arrested at the Innovative Roadworthy Testing Station in Soweto in October 2017. Similarly, a management representative and three examiners were arrested at the Hercules Roadworthy Centre in Pretoria in November and are facing charges of fraudulently issuing roadworthy certificates to vehicles that were not presented for testing.
Vadi said that the inter-departmental investigations into the operations of the two testing stations found gross violations of the National Road Traffic Act (1996) and the codes of practice regulating private vehicles testing stations.
“Vehicles that are not roadworthy contribute to the high accident rates and fatalities on our roads. Testing stations that issue fraudulent roadworthy certificates are complicit in this regard,” said Vadi.
“We are acting in the public interest by preventing cars that are not roadworthy from driving on public roads where they could endanger the lives of the public,” he emphasised.