Cops utilise eNatis

By Leon Engelbrecht, ITWeb senior writer
Johannesburg, 20 Sept 2007

The South African Police Service was the single biggest user of the electronic National Traffic Information System (eNatis) last month, says the Department of Transport. The police conducted 904 812 interface transactions.

The second biggest bulk user was DaimlerChrysler SA, which registered 87 593 new vehicles, and Volkswagen SA, which entered 72 787 new vehicles into the national records. There are now eight million vehicles of all types registered on eNatis, records show.

A spokesman says the police typically "tagged" vehicles on the system when they were reported stolen and "untagged" them if they were recovered. They also routinely query the ownership or other details of a vehicle's driver as part of their crime prevention and investigation mandate.

eNatis got off to a shaky start in April. By 31 August, it had clocked 12 980 790 transactions, including 65 028 learner licence authorisations, 191 664 driving licence card orders, 90 258 vehicle record introductions, 303 924 vehicle registrations and 848 771 vehicle licensing transactions.

Close to four million of these transactions were performed via interfaces with other computer systems (such as those of the police, vehicle manufacturers, banks and insurance companies). Users of the eNatis application at registering authorities, testing stations and provincial authorities performed 9 023 473 transactions. Concerning the latter group, the most transactions were performed by Johannesburg (706 828), followed by Cape Town (513 575), Pretoria (497 072) and Durban (271 381).

Over budget

Meanwhile, all is said to be on track for next year's handover of eNatis to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC). The developer, the Tasima Consortium, is still running the system.

Transport department project leader Werner Koekemoer is on record as saying he wants the migration to the RTMC completed by "no later than May 2008", a year later than originally scheduled.

The RTMC will outsource the system's maintenance. A tender will be issued in due course.

At last count, eNatis has cost taxpayers R408 million, up from R311 million budgeted in 2001 when Tasima won the bid to design, develop and install the system. Its five-year contract was supposed to expire at the end of May, but was extended to allow for a "smooth handover" to the RTMC.

Transport minister Jeff Radebe in May described eNatis as "one of the most advanced traffic management systems in the world". He said similar systems were found in Europe and in the US, "but none have the sophistication of the eNatis in respect of road transport management capability".

Tasima groups together two black empowerment firms and Face Technologies, part of troubled state IT company arivia.kom.

Related stories:
State of govt IT under scrutiny
eNatis to be handed over
eNatis audit looms