Government should clean own house before reinventing the wheel

Any cursory look through online discussion forums reveals considerable negativity towards the proposed legislation requiring road users to “Rica” their licences. This negativity is understandable, since it will certainly cause considerable inconvenience to vehicle owners. Few people would welcome any new requirements requiring them to accommodate any more perceived hassle in their lives.

Added to this is the legitimate objection that there is no way to determine if the added checks and balances would result in safer roads in South Africa. This system has been adopted with some success in other countries, but the perception lingers that South Africa is still rife with corruption and that drivers with unroadworthy vehicles will find ways through the system, even if that means greasing a few palms along the way.

Government would have an easier time finding favour for the proposed amendments if they could counter the prevailing perception that the system is not functioning as it should. Sacking corrupt traffic officials would already be a step in the right direction, as would adequately financing traffic departments, ensuring that enough officials can be employed and given adequate training to better enforce traffic laws on the road.

Only once these measures have been exhausted should invasive legislation like the proposed ‘Rica’ ammendments be considered.


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