Pa­tience urged as Hawks con­tinue swoops on city’s li­cens­ing cen­tres

The Star Late Edition - - NEWS - ANNA COX @an­na­cox

AS THE AR­RESTS of more than 100 Joburg li­cens­ing of­fi­cials con­tinue, mo­torists have been asked to be pa­tient at li­cens­ing cen­tres over the next few days while the Hawks con­tinue their nu­mer­ous busts.

On Tues­day, City of Joburg mayor Her­man Mashaba an­nounced that seven of­fi­cials, who al­legedly cost the city R14.7 mil­lion in il­le­gal trans­ac­tions, had been ar­rested.

Mem­ber of the may­oral com­mit­tee re­spon­si­ble for public safety Michael Sun said the on­go­ing ar­rests over the next few days would mean that li­cens­ing cen­tre ser­vices would be af­fected.

“I re­quest Joburg res­i­dents to be pa­tient dur­ing this time. I am cer­tain that our res­i­dents will un­der­stand that this de­ci­sive ac­tion against cor­rupt of­fi­cials is a pos­i­tive step to­wards a cleaner and cor­rupt-free city that is com­mit­ted to serv­ing the res­i­dents,” he said.

Sun said the city would be do­ing its best to min­imise the ef­fect on ser­vice de­liv­ery over this pe­riod.

Joburg metro po­lice depart­ment spokesper­son Wayne Min­naar also ap­pealed to mo­torists to be pa­tient.

“If mul­ti­ple ar­rests are made in any one li­cens­ing or test­ing sta­tion, it will take a few days to find re­place­ments.

“If peo­ple see long queues, they should move to an­other sta­tion,” he said.

In the mean­time, Gaut­eng MEC for Roads and Trans­port Is­mail Vadi has wel­comed the ar­rests by the Hawks at the Sand­ton test­ing cen­tre and the Martin­dale bulk li­cens­ing depart­ment.

He said he was sup­port­ing the on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the al­leged cor­rupt ac­tiv­i­ties of other of­fi­cials at var­i­ous other driver test­ing cen­tres.

“The ar­rests and in­ves­ti­ga­tions into al­leged fraud and cor­rupt ac­tiv­i­ties at driver test­ing cen­tres in Joburg are fully sup­ported by the pro­vin­cial govern­ment and we will work closely with the city’s lead­er­ship in break­ing crim­i­nal syn­di­cates linked to these cen­tres,” said Vadi.

Any ac­tion aimed at com­bat­ing cor­rup­tion was in the public in­ter­est and would be sup­ported by the pro­vin­cial Depart­ment of Roads and Trans­port, he added.

Vadi em­pha­sised that cor­rupt prac­tices ini­ti­ated through crim­i­nal syn­di­cates, se­lected driv­ing schools and the brib­ing of ex­am­in­ers at test­ing sta­tions were a mat­ter of se­ri­ous con­cern.

He pointed out that driver test­ing cen­tres had been iden­ti­fied as crit­i­cal ar­eas for in­ter­ven­tion in sev­eral sur­veys on public per­cep­tions of cor­rup­tion at govern­ment ser­vice de­liv­ery sites.

Vadi said he had spo­ken to Sun, com­mend­ing him for the ac­tions taken and pledg­ing his sup­port for the on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

HAILED: Gaut­eng MEC for Roads and Trans­port Is­mail Vadi has wel­comed the ar­rests.

CRACK­DOWN: Mayor Her­man Mashaba an­nounced the ar­rest of seven of­fi­cials sus­pected of cor­rup­tion.

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