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eNatis migrates to RTMC

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The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) will take over the running of the troubled electronic National Traffic Information System (eNatis) on 1 June, provided it is performing to specification.

Transport director-general Mpumi Mpofu says a 15% "variation" or penalty clause had been built into the contract when signed in December 2001.

This will now be used to pay for any glitches requiring technical attention after 1 June. "We will be exploring this and a maintenance arrangement, going forward," she told journalists at the Union Buildings yesterday afternoon. The costs associated with the recent hiring of extra consultants by Tasima, the consortium contracted to develop and install eNatis, is for the company's "own account", Mpofu added.

Maintenance costs

Mpofu adds that the RTMC has already put measures, including a help desk, in place to manage and maintain eNatis from June.

But, in a move that will likely further antagonise the public; the transport department announced that from 1 July motorists and other users of eNatis will have to pay R30 more per transaction to help pay for that maintenance.

She was speaking shortly after transport minister Jeff Radebe apologised to South Africans for the eNatis mess. "The Department of Transport, the contractor and myself unreservedly apologise for the inconvenience caused. I am confident the benefits of such interventions (eNatis) outweigh the inconvenience."

He was, however, adamant that the implementation was not a "monumental mess", as put to him by a journalist. The system has been plagued by operational problems since its launch on 13 April.

Legal action?

Radebe added it was too early to threaten Tasima with legal action. "We have not reached that stage. The system is working very well, except for the module dealing with motor vehicle registration."

But, he added: "At the end of the day, government has contracted a contractor to deliver a service. Before this contract ends they have a legal obligation to deliver what they were contracted to do."

Radebe also sought to assure the public that system glitches will be drastically reduced by next week. "Special interventions" are planned for this weekend to ensure eNatis achieves "99.5% system availability" by Monday.

New record

The Tasima consortium, which started work on the R408 million contract in June 2002, is a self-contained business, owned in equal thirds by troubled state IT company arivia.kom, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Face Technologies; Thuthukani Information Technology Services and Webcom Consulting. Face is the main contractor.

Within the consortium, Face Technologies is responsible for software development, the national call centre, the national project office, training and business consulting. Thuthukani meets all network infrastructure requirements, while Webcom provides all hardware requirements.

An eNatis technical source this morning said the system was stable yesterday and logged 598 000 transactions - a new record.

Related stories:
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Govt gags eNatis developer
eNatis down, again
eNatis ups capacity
eNatis 'no bed of roses'
eNatis pulls through
eNatis beefed up
Govt, developer defend eNatis
Technical hiccups hit eNatis
Govt upgrades Natis

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