Louis Jordaan, 70, didn’t get much sympathy from officials when he went to renew his car licence at the City’s office at Table Bay Mall, Sunningdale, especially not from the Police Vehicle Clearance Unit in Stikland.
Mr Jordaan’s daughter, Ursula, said when her father received his renewal notice in the post he went to the customer office where he was told that the bakkie, a Nissan Champ, had been deregistered and re-registered in Springs and it had been taken over the border.
“However, his car was in the parking lot. My dad showed the clerk the renewal notice and registration papers and explained that the car only ever had one owner.
The clerk told him that he had to get a police clearance from the Stikland unit. My dad suffers from a chronic lung disease and only leaves the house when he really has to. So he had to traipse off to Stikland from Table View with his oxygen tank only to be told that he cannot get a police clearance without Datadot (a theft deterrent), and he would have to pay R450,” Ms Jordaan said.
The official was adamant even though he could see Mr Jordaan with his oxygen tank and hear him struggle to breathe and in my view the stress made it worse.
Ms Jordaan asked: “Why is it my father’s problem when clearly the mistake is at the licensing department; he was prepared for them to issue a police clearance and check the engine number but not to pay more money; how do you just deregister a car and re-register it in another province; and what papers have to be submitted for this to happen?
“What is the point of a licence if they cannot check who has been registering with them every year and which car is likely stolen.
Surely if you get a licence from the department you should be able to produce the original registration papers.
“My father, who gets a pension of R1 700, must now pay R450 for Datadot and R400 for a licence, how should he live on the balance; why can’t they just check the engine number and issue him with a clearance. Datadot is only compulsory on new cars.
“Please can someone help. As a law-abiding citizen he has to now fork out more money to rectify an error that was made by the traffic department. Obviously there are reasons for Datadot and police clearance certificates like motor vehicles being built up from parts.
However, not when negligence occurred on the traffic department’s side and they deregistered a car with false or fraudulent proof. I believe they should rectify the situation.”
Ian Neilson, mayoral committee member for finance and deputy mayor, confirmed that the vehicle is still registered to Mr LG Jordaan and it was not deregistered.
“The vehicle registration system is a national traffic information system (eNatis) and the City of Cape Town does not have control over what takes place outside of its limited jurisdiction on the system. Our records show that the incorrect police mark was recorded and therefore the police clearance was required.
“An eNatis police clearance mark refers a vehicle to the South African Police Service (SAPS) when there is a change to the engine or chassis number, or when a client purchases a vehicle without registration documents,” Mr Neilson said.
“Mr Jordaan’s case was escalated to the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works and the mark was lifted. Mr Jordaan can visit the Table Bay Mall customer office and should ask for Nadia Schrikker, who will assist him with the process of receiving his motor vehicle licence.
“City officials also contacted Colonel Hanana of the Stikland South African Police Service (SAPS) to alert officials at the station about Mr Jordaan’s recent experience.
“Our investigation showed that Mr Jordaan’s vehicle was marked for a required clearance by the Benoni Registering Authority and not the City of Cape Town. Thus, it would be impossible for the City to establish who made the application for the request of the police clearance, as the transaction was done in Benoni. We cannot comment on what took place at the Benoni Registering Authority,” Mr Neilson said.
Ms Jordaan said: “We received a call asking if my Dad can come to the licensing department to collect his licence. My brother went to collect it on his behalf.
“We just want to thank you for all your help. We really appreciate it. He is all sorted.”