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By Amanda Watson

News Editor

Confusion abounds over the future of eNatis

The system that administers SA's vehicles is under threat due to Telkom's bill not being settled.

Confusion over whether Tasima had paid money to Telkom to prevent its data lines being cut by today, which would collapse the electronic National Administration of Traffic Information (eNatis) system, prevailed over the weekend.

Last week, Telkom gave Tasima, which administers eNatis on behalf of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), until Friday to settle its R8 million bill.

Last week, in its heads of argument before court, Tasima said paying the bill was the RTMC’s problem. Tasima said it had paid in the past and that RTMC was creating the problem.

The firm also stated it was willing for the transport department and RTMC to only cover “basic costs” for the interim, but it needed 11 months to effect the Constitutional Court-mandated transfer of eNatis to the RTMC. This, however, did not stop Telkom cutting phone lines to some eNatis offices on Friday, leaving only its data lines intact, which, according to the eNatis website, serves up to 2 200 users per hour during office hours.

RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane on Saturday told Independent Online Tasima had paid 40% – or R3.2 million – of the R8 million it allegedly owed Telkom. But RTMC CEO Makhosini Msibi yesterday said he could not confirm the payment.

“I’m not too sure, honestly, I can check that,” Msibi said.

He referred The Citizen to Telkom, which refused to “release the details due to the Consumer Protection Act”.

Zwane had last week said there were 12 million vehicles on the system and more than 11 million registered drivers would be affected if it collapsed.

The RTMC spokesperson said the collapse had already happened at 100 sites.

If the data lines were cut as well, drivers would not be able to renew licences; cars would not be registered in the names of new owners; fines could not be paid; and police would be unable to check if vehicles had been reported stolen.

The RTMC last week approached the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria in a bid to force Tasima to comply with last year’s Constitutional Court ruling that it had to hand over eNatis to the RTMC. The matter is to be heard on Thursday.

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