eNatis woes a thing of the past

Paul Vecchiatto
By Paul Vecchiatto, ITWeb Cape Town correspondent
Cape Town, 21 May 2008

Troubles with the Electronic National Traffic Information System (eNatis) are now a thing of the past and the system has proved to be operating far better than expected, says transport minister Jeff Radebe.

Speaking during a parliamentary media briefing yesterday, Radebe said: "I am told that eNatis is one of the best, if not the best, system of its type in the world."

He went on to praise the speed of the system and how extensively it is being used.

"Within a minute, one can get all the information about a vehicle, from when it was manufactured, who owns it... even if a person has enough money to buy it," Radebe said.

Mpumi Mpofu, transport department director-general, said eNatis was running well and that the department was finalising the impact of the auditor-general's audit, which has still to be made public.

"We are now in the process of transferring the responsibility of eNatis [from the steering committee and contractor Tasima] to the Road Traffic Management Corporation, because that is where it belongs," she said.

Mpofu said the transfer was subject to a risk analysis being completed and a memorandum of understanding being signed between her department and the State IT Agency (SITA).

"SITA will help oversee the transfer and develop capacity to run eNatis," Mpofu said.

However, she did not say how long it would take to develop the trained staff that will take over from Tasima's 120 people employed on the project.

Separately, Philip van der Merwe, spokesperson for Tasima and eNatis, said the system was running well and had passed an important milestone on the first anniversary of its deployment.

"The system is running well and it is continuously handling queries from the SA Police Service, the SA Bureau of Standards and [car] manufacturers. It provides a complete history of a vehicle from factory floor to scrap yard."

Van der Merwe said a planned upgrade would allow members of the public to pay their vehicle licences via the Internet or automated teller machines and, while the technology is in place, authorisation from the different tiers of government was still needed.

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