Joburg’s speed cameras have been offline for more than a year.
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The City of Johannesburg has had no working speed cameras for almost a year, with all speed prosecutions in the city halted.
Speaking to news channel eNCA, Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) spokesperson Xolani Fihla said that the issue extends to the processing of traffic fines.
Fihla said the previous service provider contract for the cameras ended on 31 May 2021, with the JMPD currently conducting a tender process which is expected to be concluded by July 2022.
He added that the city was currently losing millions of rands in revenue due to the issue, with traffic fines responsible for bringing in over R3 million a month for the city before the contract expired last year.
Fihla confirmed that the problem extended to handheld cameras used by traffic officers. The JMPD is primarily relying on an increased presence and handwritten traffic fines to ensure serious offenders are still prosecuted, he said.
The City of Johannesburg recently announced that it is introducing ‘smart roadblocks’ as another way of enforcing compliance and collecting revenue.
Presenting her state of the city address on 21 April, Joburg executive mayor Mpho Phalatse said the smart system has already seen the city collect in excess of R14 million in nine weeks.
The smart roadblocks rely on automatic number-plate-recognition to identify motorists who have outstanding fines, those driving ‘cloned’ vehicles, and those with stagnant fines or fines with incorrect addresses.
According to Syntell, who designed the system, the smart roadblocks are capable of collecting between R20,000 and R50,000 of outstanding fines each day.
All the paperwork is done on-site at the roadblock, including the issuing of the warrants of arrest, while a clerk of the court is present to issue summons. Motorists are able to settle their fines there and then using credit cards, debit cards or cash. If no method of payment is available, the motorist will be arrested.