Trans African Concessions (TRAC) has partnered with Kruger Lowveld Tourism (KLT) and the South African Police Services (SAPS) in a ground-breaking, four-month pilot project to boost KLT’s Roadside Anti-Corruption Initiative until the end of December.
KLT launched its Roadside Anti-Corruption Initiative over a year ago to curb traffic official corruption and bribery, by informing international and local tourists that it’s illegal to pay cash to a traffic officer or any other official on the roadside.
At the time, to generate awareness of corruption and to provide a meaningful helpline to visitors who find themselves compromised by corrupt traffic officials, KLT and the SAPS partnered to launch the Roadside Anti-Corruption Initiative. It revolves around KLT and its members handing out business cards to tourists that warn them not to pay fines or hand over cash to any individual on the roadside.
The business card also contains KLT’s contact number, a 24-hour police telephone number, TRAC’s 24-hour helpdesk number for emergencies and assistance and space for each accommodation establishment to write their number for tourists who need assistance.
“Legitimate fines should be paid at a police station or magistrate’s court only, where a receipt must be issued. Road tolls, where applicable, must be paid at official toll plazas only,” says KLT’s Executive Director and Marketing Consultant Lisa Sheard.
She explains that many tourists have been taken in by unscrupulous traffic officials and toll scam artists as they are not familiar with South African law.
TRAC has now put its weight behind the initiative and will be printing and handing out the Roadside Anti-Corruption Initiative cards from two of its toll plazas – Middelburg and Machadodorp – on route to Mpumalanga.
TRAC will also be erecting boards, in key hot-spot areas, to further generate awareness around the campaign.
“KLT is excited about the pilot project that we will be running with TRAC until the end of the year. We need to reach as many tourists as possible to alert them to the dangers of being bribed and to keep them safe,” says Sheard.
“The number of tourists that TRAC will be able to reach in advance of their arrival in the region will give the campaign a significant boost, running into high season for international visitors and of course, especially over the festive season,” she adds.
Graham Esterhuysen TRAC’s Chief Executive Officer says, “Tourism is one of the identified key areas leading to job creation in South Africa. The bad experiences of visitors who have encountered fraud, corruption and theft, reverberate overseas and undo all the good work done by our tourism ambassadors. In the event that this campaign helps to prevent such bad experiences, TRAC is fully supportive of the initiative.”
The public is urged to take these telephone numbers down and keep them in their vehicle:
KLT: 013 755 1988 (office hours)
TRAC 24-hour helpdesk: 082 881 4444 or 080 087 2264
SAPS 24-hour line: 082 451 7044