Do away with red tape

Arthur Pillay, Westridge

My car was stolen on Thursday March 19.

What bothers me is what happens if or when the vehicle has been recovered.

My car had been privately recovered, which was reported to SAPS which opened a case of vehicle theft.

All of the contents inside of the car and the boot were removed.

The details were then recorded on the computerised system and reported at the traffic department.

This information is available, throughout the province and advertised as a stolen vehicle.

The recovered vehicle was taken to Stikland for fingerprinting then to Bellville for microdotting, which costs R500.

You then have to go to your nearest traffic department to obtain a certain form for police clearance in Bellville again, which is free.

The police clearance section removes the details of the stolen vehicle off the system, as recovered and this is done via Pretoria.

Then you have to go back to the traffic department to clear it from their system, and it generates a new registration number for the vehicle.

You obviously have to have a new set of number plates made as well.

The irony of this story is whether the perpetrators are caught and you are saddled with the greater expense.

Twice I had to drive to Bellville.

I am a South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) grant recipient and own a 1994 Jetta.

Is this old car really worth repairing?

The choice is yours, if you want to continue using it.

Is it really necessary to go through all of the above?

Yes, you do not have a choice, it is mandatory according to the law to go through this rigorous process.

I know they cannot change the law but they can at least consider bringing these entities closer to Mitchell’s Plain.

That clearance building in Osborne Street Bellville South has been standing there for years.

People should not just accept substandard services.

There are so many empty pockets of land and vacant plots that the government is not using.

Give it to SAPS where they can do this under one roof – police clearance and microdotting and a satellite office representing the traffic department.

For the man in the street this is a rather costly expense. What about a pensioner?

You feel that you have been punished twice.

Mitchell’s Plain is fast growing into a city. Why must we go outside of Mitchell’s Plain for additional services?

Just for the record, I could not find a notary nor a labour law lawyer in Mitchell’s Plain.

Everything is in Bellville, a town much smaller than Mitchell’s Plain.

Albert Fritz, MEC for Community Safety, responds:

I will refer this matter to the Red Tape Reduction Unit to examine and address the related service delivery constraints.

We must ensure that related processes are streamlined.

Raybin Windvogel, director of Red Tape Reduction Unit for the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism Directorate, responds:

We will be meeting with the head of SAPS’ Vehicle Crime Investigation Unit, Colonel Leon Hannan, to discuss the possibility of a roving office that can serve high-population areas like Mitchell’s Plain, Khayelitsha, Milnerton and Dunoon.

They have seven offices, including the head office in Bellville (Stikland), Bellville South, Paarl, Beaufort West, George, Oudtshoorn and Vredenburg.

They have a roving system for the rural towns where they do not have offices, but no such system for Cape Town.

The meeting with SAPS’ Vehicle Crime Investigation Unit was scheduled for Monday September 14.