Roads and transport MEC Ismail Vadi said corrupt practices initiated through criminal syndicates at certain driving schools in the province and the bribing of examiners at testing stations was a matter of serious concern.
He said some testing centres had been identified as critical areas for intervention in several surveys on public perceptions of corruption at the government service delivery sites.
Vadi said this as he welcomed the arrest of seven officials employed at the Sandton Driver Testing Centre and the Martindale Bulk Licensing Department in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
He also supported the ongoing investigations into the alleged corrupt activities of a further 106 officials at various testing centres.
“The arrests and investigations into alleged fraud and corrupt activities at testing centres in Johannesburg is fully supported by the provincial government and we will work closely with the city’s leadership in breaking criminal syndicates linked to these centres,” Vadi said.
“Any action aimed at combating corruption is in the public interest and will be supported by the provincial department of roads and transport,” he said.
Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba said between January 2008 and February 2016, 972 fraudulent transactions at the city’s driving schools at a total value of R14 717 444 were identified within the city.
Indications are that syndicates colluded with certain licensing officials to perform illegal transactions on the licensing computer system.
Vadi said he had spoken to the MMC for public safety in Johannesburg, Michael Sun, commending him for the actions taken and pledging his support for the ongoing investigations.
“The provincial government continues to receive complaints about officials asking for bribes, particularly at drivers Licence testing centres and we are determined to and will put a stop to this practice. We will not hesitate to act against those public servants who betray the trust of our people,” Premier David Makhura said.