FRAUD AND CORRUPTION AT VEHICLE TESTING STATIONS

The RMI launches Anti-Fraud and Anti-Corruption Charter and a whistle-blower mechanism

As an industry, South Africa’s vehicle testing stations have earned an unfortunate reputation for irregular transactions or corrupt practices. While the reputation may be due to the activities of a small number of outlets, the majority of test stations – which have tried long and hard to ensure that roadworthy tests are done properly and with integrity – have been similarly affected.

In an effort to set matters right the RMI has facilitated the commitment and undertaking by its VTA member testing stations of an ANTI-FRAUD and ANTI-CORRUPTION CHARTER. The charter will be launched this month at the upcoming Annual General Meetings of the VTA in KZN, Gauteng and Cape Town, and will be adopted nationally.

In addition, the RMI has established an anti-fraud hotline / whistle-blowing mechanism, where any person can report fraudulent activities – reportfraud@rmi.org.za.

The important development occurs during National Transport Month – October – which the National Department of Transport uses to raise awareness of the vital role that transport plays in South Africa’s economy, encouraging participation from civil society and business with regard to the provision of safe and more affordable, accessible and reliable transport. Follow the conversation at #OTM2017.

According to statistics released by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), non-roadworthy vehicles are responsible for 8%¹ of South Africa’s road crashes. In 2014, 12 702² road users died in accidents.

While testing stations play a critical role in advancing road safety, presently, roadworthy tests are required only for vehicles which change ownership or, where public service vehicles are concerned, on a six-month or annual basis.

Therefore, out of more than 12-million cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles on the country’s roads, only about 21%³ are subject to roadworthy tests, with almost 80% of the vehicle population not legally required to be tested at all.

While good maintenance of vehicles and roadworthiness remains the responsibility of owners, vehicles which don’t change hands have no reason to be tested, and hence comply with legal standards based only on their owners’ levels of commitment.

Nevertheless, for the 21% of vehicles which do undergo assessment, the anti-fraud and anti-corruption initiative introduced by the industry demonstrates a genuine commitment to operate within the law and ensure that vehicles that are declared roadworthy are indeed roadworthy, having been properly tested in accordance with relevant legislation and standards.

For a vehicle testing station to have the Anti-Fraud and Anti-Corruption Charter on public display will mean that all employees at that outlet are committed to comply with its undertakings, embodied in the following pledges:

  • I pledge and undertake that I will act within the boundaries of the law in all aspects of my job;
  • I pledge and undertake not to declare non-roadworthy vehicles roadworthy;
  • I pledge and undertake that I will uphold the principals of honour and promise-keeping;
  • I pledge and undertake that I will not to participate in – either directly or indirectly – activities which involve fraud and/or corruption. Neither will I condone such activity;
  • I pledge and undertake to report any fraudulent transaction of which I may become aware during the course of my business or my job.
  • By virtue of my signature hereto, I pledge and undertake to, in general, lawfully do all things expected of me to ultimately support, promote and advance the objectives of the Anti-Corruption and Anti-Fraud Charter as a whole.

Jakkie Olivier, CEO of the RMI, says: “Should members of the public be aware of any fraudulent activity at any testing station, please send an email to: reportfraud@rmi.org.za. The information will be treated confidentially, and the appropriate authorities will be engaged and action taken.”

¹ Source: RTMC Crash Report 2009

² Source: Thandi Moyo, at the Road Safety Conference November 2015

³ Source: www.enatis.com

For more information please contact: Joy Oldale 0824644009 joy.oldale@rmi.org.za