Motorists who have had their cellphones impounded have one last chance to reclaim their devices at half the release fee before the City of Cape Town auctions 500 handsets.
“The offer is valid from October 21 until the end of November, by which time we should be ready to have our first auction,” said mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith in a statement.
“The discount does not apply to impoundments after September last year; these offenders will have to pay the full release fee of R1 100.”
Motorists whose cellphones were impounded between July 1, 2012 and September 30, 2014 will be charged R550 should they wish to reclaim their property.
Thousands of devices have been impounded since the introduction of the Traffic By-Law in July 2012.
An estimated 6 000 cellphones are in storage at the traffic pound in Ndabeni.
“I am not sure whether anyone will take us up on the offer, but the cellphones will be disposed of either way. We are holding the auction and any devices not sold will be donated to a charity that can use them for their fieldworkers or activists,” he said.
By law, the City is allowed to sell any impounded property within three months of the impoundment date. There has however been a delay as the City had to wait for the relevant court processes to be completed. They also had to ensure that all personal data on the device could be cleared.
The City said a service provider had since been appointed to clear data from the devices, which means that the first auction is likely to take place by the end of the year.
They are not required to pay the accompanying fine to reclaim their phones.