The Road Traffic Management Corporation’s (RTMC) National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit and special crime unit the Hawks, have announced the bust of a major vehicle licence scam in South Africa.
The scam, which primarily took place in and around Mpumalanga, involved five provincial administrators and a Mbombela municipal clerk. The officials allegedly fraudulently redetermined the classification of hundreds of vehicles to avoid payment of licensing fees and penalties, the RTMC said.
In South Africa, vehicle owners are required to pay an annual car licence fee as determined in the government gazette. Operators of smaller vehicles pay less than drivers of larger vehicles, while special dispensation can be granted for certain types of vehicles.
This figure differs by province, and in Gauteng the total annual license fee for a car not exceeding 1,250 kilograms is R432. By comparison, the same car in the Western Cape will cost R420 to licence annually, while the car licence fee in KwaZulu-Natal is R534.
The RTMC estimates that as much as R60 million in revenue was lost as a result of the alleged unlawful activities of the suspects.
“They are expected to be charged with 603 counts of fraud, corruption and money laundering when they appear in the Mbombela Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Monday (18 July),” the traffic authority said.
“The alleged crimes were committed between 2018 and 2019 and it is believed that they involved collusion with many other officials from registering authorities in the province.”
The RTMC said that it is committed to dealing with fraud and corruption and urges members of the public to report all suspicions of malfeasances, bribery, fraud and corruption by sending a WhatsApp message to 0832937989 or sending an email to [email protected]