- Mar 26, 2010
More at : https://www.iol.co.za/ios/news/shock-at-blatant-bribes-for-drivers-licences-25548368Durban - A wink, a nod and a couple of thousand rand will buy a driver’s licence - it’s no secret, even though it has a major impact when it comes to counting the loss of lives on South Africa’s roads.
The Independent on Saturday team went under cover to investigate what a Corruption Watch researcher said was standard practice to pay a bribe, and prospective drivers were almost guaranteed to fail if they could not or were unwilling to pay.
The team found blatant bribery at three KZN RTI (Road Traffic Inspectorate) centres.
Responding yesterday, “gravely concerned” Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s undertaking to fight corruption at all levels, such illegal activity would “not be tolerated in any way, shape or form”.
He added that the RTMC national traffic Anti-corruption Unit was currently working with police and the SIU (Special Investigating Unit) to root out and clamp down on such practices.
Our team’s first stop was Rossburgh traffic centre, where vendors sitting outside the gate openly offered “imbuzi” (goat), which is a code name for questions and answer sheets for a learner’s licence, at a cost of R150.
After the team had showed an interest in “imbuzi”, the vendor explained what else was on offer when it came to getting a learner’s and driver’s licences, which included a bank statement with the letterhead of a well-known bank, with personal details and an address of the client’s choosing.
“The bribe is standard procedure; you are even able to buy a licence,” said the vendor, as he introduced the team to the middleman to chat about getting a driver’s licence.
The middleman casually introduced himself, stating that the bribe would cost R1500. “Here we help people,” he said, explaining that the client would give the money to him, including money to book the driving test.
He said he would meet the driving instructor inside and inform him of a new client. The client would be given a vehicle for the test, with the instructor ticking all the boxes, resulting in a pass for the test, regardless of the client’s driving abilities.
The team went further into the testing grounds, where they met two driving school instructors. When asked about the process of gaining a driver’s licence, there was no mention of any bribe and the instructors shared what was required.
The team then moved on to the Pinetown testing station and had to go into the premises to get to the middle man, a driving school instructor.
He was leaning against a tree, watching one of his clients driving a truck on the testing ground.
When asked about the bribe, he said itwas R2500. “When you pay the money, I can guarantee you will not have a problem passing,” he said, adding that his lessons were R100. On the day of the test, he signals the driving inspector with a wink and a nod, letting him know the transaction had been made.
A second driving instructor at Pinetown testing grounds, who was approached by the team, made no mention of any bribes, saying lessons were R400 each, with R800 on the day of the test to pay for the use of the driving school car and the cost of the test, R250.
At the third testing station, Winklespruit, there was a vendor at the gate who said the bribe would be R2000 and with the code name “sgqoko sephoyisa” (meaning policeman’s cap), payable to him to organise