Tasima battles to hang on to eNatis

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RTMC takes over the national traffic information database system.
RTMC takes over the national traffic information database system.

Tasima has slammed the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) for "unlawfully storming and seizing control" of the premises where the national vehicle registration database system is operated.

This is despite two judgements by the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) and the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria forcing Tasima to hand over the Electronic National Traffic Information System (eNatis) to the RTMC and vacate the operational offices in Midrand.

Last November, the ConCourt ruled eNatis must be transferred to and managed by the transport department, through its entity the RTMC.

On Monday, the High Court ordered Tasima to immediately hand over control of eNatis and its services to the RTMC. The company was also ordered to vacate the premises from where the system is operated.

Tasima challenged the court order issued on Monday by filing papers to appeal the judgement. However, Tasima's application for leave to appeal the High Court order was dismissed.

In a statement this morning, Tasima cried foul at RTMC moving to the premises to fully take over the eNatis infrastructure.

"This is unlawful self-help, spoliation and constructive contempt by the RTMC and its officials who were also found to be in contempt by the Constitutional Court in November 2016 and on many other occasions by the High Court. Tasima is currently considering its options in this regard."

Raging on

Tasima has been the custodian of eNatis, the official register for all vehicles, driving licences, contraventions and accident data in SA, for over a decade now.

The company was contracted to build, operate and eventually hand over the system. The process has been contentious, characterised by back-and-forth litigation for the last few years.

While Tasima does not say why it is reluctant to hand over eNatis, the battle with RTMC has largely been over the terms and period of the transfer.

According to Tasima, following the High Court's decision not to grant it leave to appeal, the company immediately petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) for leave to appeal.

The appeal was transmitted to the RTMC and the Department of Transport yesterday morning and was lodged early yesterday afternoon with the registrar of the SCA in Bloemfontein, it says.

"This means the operation and effect of the Tuchten order is still suspended in its entirety pending the finalisation of the appeal before the SCA."

On track

In light of the High Court ruling, RTMC followed judge justice Tuchten's order to take control of eNatis on Wednesday and says the system has been running without any reported incidents.

According to RTMC, the sheriff moved in to enforce the court order as Tasima had shown no willingness to hand over the system voluntarily and vacate the premises.

"Officials are currently securing the system to prevent unauthorised access. This brings to an end a legal dispute that has dragged on in courts for years at huge public expense."

It adds: "The corporation would like to thank members of the public, motorists and public officials in all provinces for the patience and understanding displayed during the lengthy legal battle to reclaim the system from the service provider."

Ready and able

This morning, transport minister Joe Maswanganyi briefed the media at the home of eNatis, where he called upon Tasima to make a proper hand over of the system.

The minister pointed out that by gaining control of eNatis, government will now save about R30 million per month.

We have capable staff that has been trained to run the system, the system will be secure, it will not be disrupted and it is operational, Maswanganyi stated.

"We are here to take over the national key point area."

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