Traffic backs up on Johannesburg’s N1 North. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Traffic backs up on Johannesburg’s N1 North. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Tasima, the former operator of the electronic National Traffic Information System (eNatis), has lost its Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) bid to appeal its loss of the system.

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), meanwhile, says it will challenge a court order compelling it to take on 80 former Tasima staff, part of 23 separate legal battles fought with the company, over the control of the electronic register for traffic information.

The SCA dismissed Tasima’s bid to challenge its eviction from its Midrand premises on Tuesday without hearing arguments, RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane said on Wednesday.

Tasima had directly petitioned the SCA after the High Court in Pretoria dismissed leave to appeal a judgment to handover the system to the RTMC immediately.

In November, the Constitutional Court had ordered that the system be handed over within 30 days, which did not occur, prompting additional court proceedings that ended in the April handover. Tasima had been in control of the system since 2002, but the RTMC had challenged a 2010 five-year contract extension that was subsequently found to be unlawful.

The extension of the contract has also prompted criminal charges based on allegations bribes were paid to secure it, including against former transport minister Sbu Ndebele, who is expected to return to court in November.

Despite the Constitutional Court judgment, Tasima had refused to hand over the system, arguing that parties had failed to agree on a migration plan and the system would be compromised if it complied. The high court rejected this, further denying a leave to appeal.

However, at the end of May, Tasima did win its case in the labour court seeking to compel the RTMC to absorb 80 of its former staff. Zwane said on Thursday the corporation expected to file its appeal on Friday.

"The RTMC will seek to convince the labour appeal court that it has taken over the eNatis system and not the business of Tasima," he said.

Tasima did not respond to requests for comment, but had argued during extensive court proceedings that a successful handover could not take place without its staff, which the RTMC had previously agreed to employ.

Tasima had further maintained that in 2015 the RTMC had taken over about 150 staff by offering permanent public-service positions, which the company maintained was part of a co-ordinated attempt to "collapse the system".

Zwane denied this, saying Tasima had changed the employment status of the contractors as one of its "tricks" to delay transfer.

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