Transport department to run eNaTIS soon

The high court in Pretoria has struck another blow to the technology company that is trying to hold on to the lucrative contract to operate the electronic national administration traffic information system (eNaTIS).

Judge Wendy Hughes on Friday last week approved the Department of Transport’s application to enforce with immediate effect the order she made on June 23. The order required the department to request the transfer of the eNaTIS from Tasima to the department within five days and for the transfer to be completed within 30 days of the request.

The operation and execution of a decision that is a subject of an application for leave to appeal is‚ according to the Superior Courts Act‚ suspended pending the decision. However‚ the court may order otherwise if a party shows that it would suffer irreparable harm.

“The order of 23 June 2015 shall operate pending the appeal process‚ including the application to appeal and any appeal noted‚” Judge Hughes said on Friday.

In her judgment in June‚ Hughes also set aside the decision by the then director-general of transport George Mahlalela on May 12 2010 to approve and extend Tasima’s eNaTIS contract for five years until May 2015. She said the contract was invalid from the beginning.

Hughes passed the June order after Tasima had taken the department to court at the end of May contending that the department could not take over the eNaTIS immediately as there was still a transfer period of five years for proper hand-over.

Tasima has applied for leave to appeal but the application is yet to be heard.

eNaTIS includes the register of motor vehicles‚ driving licences and contraventions.

On Friday‚ Hughes said the eNaTIS had been declared a national key point and the system was operated at premises belonging to the department. She said Tasima’s lease in respect of the premises came to an end at the end of June this year.

She said the department had informed the court that its agency the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) was the preferred entity to take over and the RTMC has been readying itself with expertise‚ capacity and staff.

Hughes said the premises where the eNaTIS was operated from was a national key point. She said the department had a duty to ensure that the key point was stable and risk-free and that the integrity of the system was safeguarded.

She also said the irregular and unlawful expenditure had been established by the Auditor-General and the Special Investigating Unit and this unlawful expenditure would be perpetuated during the course of Tasima’s leave to appeal process.

The court heard during the department’s enforcement application that Tasima was paid about R1.7-billion between May 2010 and October 2013. Tasima derives all its income from its operation of the eNaTIS.

Hughes said the department had tendered an undertaking to reimburse Tasima for any damages it might suffer and could prove.

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