Speed traps and fines back online in Joburg and Pretoria

The City of Joburg and the City of Tshwane have warned Gauteng motorists that their speed cameras are up and running after not operating them for over a year and a half.

The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) confirmed that its speeding cameras were operational in response to a question on Twitter.

“On New Year’s Day, the #JMPD High-Speed Unit arrested a total of 7 motorists for speeding,” it said.

“This included an incident where a motorist was driving at a speed of 189km/h in a 120km/h zone.”

When asked whether this meant its speed cameras were working again, the JMPD responded, “Yes”.

Johannesburg’s speed cameras became operational again on 1 January, after the municipality signed a contract with Syntell to provide Advanced Law Enforcement and Crash Management services in December 2022.

Johannesburg MMC for public safety, David Tembe, said the contract had already begun bearing fruit.

“Compliance with the rules of the road and obeying set speed limits is non-negotiable and perpetrators will be brought to book,” he added.

JMPD spokesperson Xolani Fihla and Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) spokesperson Isaac Mahamba confirmed to City Press that their speed traps were functioning again.

Fihla stated that, in Johannesburg, over 6,000 cases of speeding were recorded on New Year’s Day.

South African traffic police with a speeding camera

Both metropolitan municipalities have been losing out on revenue due to their speed cameras being out of action.

Before 1 January 2023, the JMPD and TMPD hadn’t loaded camera fines for speed infringements on the National Traffic Information Systems (Natis) since 1 July 2021.

In April 2022, Fihla admitted that traffic officers had issued no fines since May 2021.

Road Traffic Infringement Agency spokesperson Monde Mkalipi explained that no fines had been loaded due to the expiration of the cities’ contracts with Syntell.

In addition to supplying speed cameras and the vehicles that maintained them, Syntell was also responsible for loading the fines onto Natis.

The contract concluded at the end of June 2021, and with no new service provider appointed, JMPD officers were forced to load fines themselves.

However, this did not happen as planned, with the RTIA admitting that it had observed a sharp decline in the number of fines loaded by JMPD and TMPD following the contract’s lapse.

The Automobile Association’s Layton Beard says it is critical that speed cameras be in place in South Africa as they are crucial traffic calming devices.

Beard added that it raises questions about authorities’ commitments to road safety that they allowed the cameras to be offline for so long.

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Speed traps and fines back online in Joburg and Pretoria