Two nabbed for eNatis fraud

By Christelle du Toit, ITWeb senior journalist
Johannesburg, 13 Nov 2007

Two clerks who allegedly tried to commit fraud using the electronic National Traffic Information System (eNatis) were arrested yesterday, and there is a possibility that more criminal cases could be investigated.

Captain William Mcera, spokesman for the Vaal Rand police, said this morning the police in Gauteng are following up on possible additional incidences of fraud related to eNatis, but could not provide specifics at this stage.

"We have received information that we are busy verifying, but we have not yet opened a docket as such," says Mcera. "There are some instances related to drivers` licence-issuing that have been raised so far."

Yesterday, two men were arrested for allegedly trying to bypass the eNatis system to provide illegal roadworthy certificates for a number of cars. It is believed they used eNatis access codes from a testing station in Vanderbijlpark, together with those from a testing officer, to declare vehicles roadworthy, even though they had never been tested.

The men may not be named, as they have not yet appeared in court. However, Mcera says they have been under investigation since July this year.

At the time of publication, Thabo Tsotselane, acting CEO of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), could not be reached for comment on the possibility of additional investigations being launched into criminal activities using the eNatis system.

He had, however, commented earlier today on the two arrests, saying eNatis has been designed in such a way as to leave a trail of all activities, making it nearly impossible to commit fraud on the system and not get caught.

"The system can pick up who did what because every user has unique codes to access it," he says. "Station managers do weekly audits of all transactions and from our side we do monthly or bi-monthly audits as well."

Moving on

The controversial eNatis system is in the process of being handed over to the RTMC, after being launched by the Tasima consortium and the Department of Transport (DOT) in May this year.

Tsotselane says the RTMC is not an IT company though, and will, therefore, not only be outsourcing the technical parts of the project, but will also look to employ people to help run it.

"We will be going to the market to get the skills we need and will see if we can get another company to assist," he says.

In July, the DOT hinted it would not necessarily re-employ Tasima as a contractor for the eNatis project.

Tsotselane says the DOT hopes to hand over the entire eNatis project by the end of the financial year. The oversight function for the project will, however, remain with the DOT, even though it will not be involved in running the project.

In October, government reported that eNatis had handled 13 501 516 transactions during the course of the month, representing an 18.7% increase on September`s figures.

Transactions performed during October included 74 674 learner`s licence authorisations, 159 822 driving licence card orders, 96 167 vehicle record introductions, 303 583 vehicle registrations and 884 554 vehicle licensing transactions. In addition, 10 371 reports were executed on the system.

Related stories:
eNatis posts new records
Real-time boost for eNatis
eNatis is up, but