Testing scam exposed

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

KwaZulu-Natal's transport department will close the Durban roadworthy testing station after an investigation found it had issued false roadworthy certificates.

At least 42 roadworthiness certificates were issued for vehicles that had not even been tested. Many were commercial passenger carriers, the owners of which had bribed examiners.

Transport and community safety MEC Bheki Cele said officers had worked tirelessly to end the scam.

"The department's mandate is to ensure that our citizens have a safe and effective means of public transport," he said.

"One of the principles kept to by the department is 100 percent adherence to taking its obligation seriously."

Cele said they had invested millions of rands to improve law enforcement at testing stations and to ensure that corrupt examiners were prosecuted.

"We cannot allow a few individuals to enrich themselves at the expense of the vast majority," Cele said. "Examiners and vehicle testing stations must ensure only roadworthy vehicles are certified."

Cele said closing the station would show the industry there was no place for "logbook jobs", corrupt examiners and testing stations that allowed these schemes to be perpetrated in the province.

Seven testing stations have been closed in the province since 2003 and 32 examiners have been prosecuted.