Monday, November 06, 2006

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The Community Solution.

What can be done to stop the, corruption so experienced in our very own driving licensing system? In numerous articles in this newspaper we have looked at problems to a wave of corruption that seems, to have spread throughout the licensing system. Acts like bribery, the trafficking of illegal licenses, the passing of people because due to a down payment, only scratch the tip of the iceburg when it comes to highlighting at the problems within the licensing departments of Southern Africa. Yet what if we look beyond the blind contradictions that are being heaped upon the system, and focus on how we as a community and a country can fix the problems presented to us.

The proposed solution at this present time is to go digital. This means placing cameras in every car and to monitoring every move that is made to ensure the fairness of the system for all people involved. And in doing so you should be able to spot every incidence of corruption that happens within the system, or do you.
The critique of this solution seems to be a strong on thought. Firstly you would have to have someone watching every tape and every moment of tape, this means that you would have to watch approximately 8 plus hours of activity every day, from every station in South Africa. This accounts to 56 or more hours of video of people doing tests analyzing every move and action made. Hardly and efficient way of finding corruption entrenched in the system that has eluded us so far. The next problem lies in whether the people watching the tapes are not corrupt or being bribed to negate certain incidents of corruption of bribery, such as a passed note, a leg felt, or a gesture made, an easy thing to pass off as an accidental miss, or lapse in concentration, if the culprit is caught. And lastly to do this you would need to hire more staff, something which seems impossible, for the department at the moment as they are unable to hire capable staff and sufficient staff to fill the basic requirements already in place. And lastly this effort does not seem to be able to view any of the corruption that takes place out of the space of the system, at home or in a driving instructors car. No it seems that the camera is not the perfect answer to the problem of corruption already facing the department.
The next solution that has been proposed is to pay the those working at the department more in order to counter the problem to bribery, to offer rewards to those coming forward to give information about corruption or that leads to the arrest of a criminal, or corrupt official within the department. And then exacting harsher punishments on those caught in the act, so to speak. This would then direct the system to a fairer and less corrupt system.
Yet a problem again arises in the fact that often the criminals can pay par more than the government is willing to. In an interview a department employee stated that he has earned up to two thousand rand a day, on a good day, dealing corrupt licenses, of fraudulent passes to people, who have obviously failed. People who do not deserve to pass due to poor driving or a massive lack of confidence on the road. In truth all this system does is push the criminals deeper into the system, forcing them to become clever and more resourceful, and therefore harder to eliminate from the system.

It seems that there is no solution to the problem of corruption at the moment yet it is my sincere hope that we as a community can find a solution that makes our roads safer and more secure and that people are treated more fairly and equally in the future.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Corruption in the office?

Is there corruption in our traffic service, are we the public victims of a corrupt licensing office or are we, blowing the whole issue far out of proportion in an attempt to cover our own faults and problems when it comes to being able to obtain a license? To investigate this claim I went out to interview a few members of our society, who claimed to have been victims of corruption with regard to the Traffic Office’s in South Africa Namely KZN, as well as interviewing a number of people who deal with the traffic office on a regular basis.

The first question of substance, aside from his name and contact details, asked, to the recipient of a new driver’s license, was simple. How did you acquire the license? And as can be assumed, he stated that, “I got it by passing my test.” To be honest I was not truly happy with his answer. I had watched his test according to the national standers of testing as I understand it, he should not have been passed. He had hit a pole twice and had rolled on his hill start, if only by a fraction. Hence further along in the interview, I asked if he had encountered any evidence of corruption, and again his answer, while hesitant, was still “No”. As much as I would have liked to have researched further into the boys testing situation, for legal issues I could not and so I moved onto another person on the testing ground. Yet interviewing her and two others, I was still not sporting any enlightening testimonials, and had very little evidence of corruption within the system.

To expand my search, I then interviewed a prominent driving school within the Pinetown area looking for any signs of malpractice or under-the-table deals. Yet it seemed that I was getting little or no luck from that route either. After two interviews there where still very few hints of corruption from within the system, and even less from those whom I suspected where involved in the any form of corruption.

To me there were only two conclusions, from all the evidence I pulled together from my personal digging, I was able to come up with numerous incidences where acts of corruption may (and I believe did), take place. Incidences such as the passing of, students who have clearly failed, stories from anonymous members of society about under the table deals, and in one particular care, a student who’s instructor bribed the officer to pass her. This led me to believe that there was definitely a web of corruption within the traffic Office’s of KZN, but it was being kept in the dark by the unwillingness of victims of corruption to talk about it, due to the possible fear of prosecution or the loss of there license. Or that, as I still have no actual hard evidence of corruption there is none, and that the department is as clean as they present themselves. In either case more digging will have to be done to confirm either way. Yet for now I will leave it up to the reader to make his or her own mind up.

Monday, October 02, 2006

News Paper article on the South African drivers liscencing problem in South Africa

An attempt at Grace

What can be said about the South African liscencing system, that has not already been said, newspaper articles and reports have constantly berated the system for its slow progress, and lack of efficency, when applying for and recieveing the Liscence, the poor quality of service offered to those there, the often understaffed and over stressed workers that have to attempt to deal with the endless streams of people that seem to flock to the department for one of the many numerous procedures that the department of education has paced forward. Yet in spite of this I went about looking for the good that has come out of the System, the positive side of the South African , drivers system, and attempt to deal with some of the negative stigma that has been places on our national liscencing system.

To being this I undertook a trip to the Pinetown department of traffic in an attempt to gain a card liscence for my nearly expired paper one. On arriving I was met with a most un encouraging site to my article, and Officer, who we shall term Joe for now was screaming at learner who had just stepped out of the car after driving it into and over a pole while parallel parking. Sure that that should not have happened, went to ask her what had happened after the officer had left. In tears she stated that he said he had a bad day and She had made it worse. I soon departed the scene with the incident I had just witnessed in mind hoping never to have to endure it again.

On entering the building where I was suppose to collect the card I was met with line upon lone of people queing up for one of more problem that needed to be resolved. In total there must have been close to one hundred people in the small building all cramped together, in different lines, most of those meshing and crossing and one or another point. Giving the department a the benefit of the doubt that the chaos was coincidental and not a part of any form of malfunction that they had any control over, I went about looking for the correct line to stand in when collecting the card. I found three lines which seemed to all lead to the same station where only one person out of a possible three was doing anything to aid the situation, the other was sitting in a chair having coffee, and the third was nowhere to be seen. Slightly agitated I looked around to see if any of the other lines where moving any faster, and to my disgust I saw that there was only one person managing the cashiers desks leaving the other four booths empty.

At this point as any rational citizen would be, I was becoming rather upset by the systems poor sense of efficency. Yet decided to give them the benefit of the doubt once again enough to enquire about why there were so few people manning the station, the officer in question stated that it was lunch, and while not directly implying it hinted that he was surprised that anyone was staying to work during the hour and a half allocated to them for lunch, and with that he left.

Stunned I stood there, silenced by the ease that he had stated they kept now over 100 people waiting while they ate lunch. All thoughts about the positive qualities of our department had left me at this point, and enraged I stormed out of there disgusted by the lack of commitment, qualification and professionalism shown by the department.

With that this reporter ends his quest for the positives of the liscencing system and hopes that people will able to rise up against the poor service, professionalism shown by eh department and will be able to force a change within it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Zuma trial takes another turn now with, Zuma now able to run free as the state looks for evidence he has buried. In the latest artcle Zuma has been able to convince the state to back down stating the they now where boubting about the ability to win the case due to the power Zuma holds with the People. "it was a difficult task to begin with but not an impossibe one, to prove Jacob Zuma guilty of corruption.
Zuma has also asked for evidence regaurding Shake to be left out of the trial as it is not purtenent to the case. Regaurdless of the fact that the case bas based on those findings.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The world around us in an interesting place, especially when it is being manipulated and used by Jocob Zuma, Former vice president of South Africa. His posponing of the trial, as it seems from the argument made in the Mail and Gaurdian, was that Zuma has managed to pospone his Trial in an attempt to recover evidence that was legally taked away from him, and then due to the fact that he was the vice president, has been claimed as unlawful. It seems that Jocob Zuma has the power to manipulate the Law to his own ends as he sees fit. Why is this so, why does it seem that Zuma has rights that we never even dreamed of, and knew we didnt have? A question for our goverment, when before have the Scorpians been wrong or found in the wrong, why then is this so different for Zuma?