Following its successful introduction and adoption in South Africa, there are now plans to roll out the Electronic National Traffic Information System (eNatis) into other SADC countries, subject to inter-governmental negotiations.

The aim is to modernise the management of vehicle and driver registration and licensing details and sharply reduce the incidence of cross-border vehicle theft.

Midrand-based Tasima, the developer and operator of the system through a public-private partnership with the National Department of Transport, believes that there is a strong argument for the system – which has been operational in South Africa since 2007 – to be implemented across the 14-nation SADC region.

Progress is already being made to introduce the system in Namibia and Lesotho, says Tasima CEO Tebogo Mphuti, with Mozambique and Botswana also in the early stages of considering eNaTIS.

“Due to the critical security aspects embedded in the system, it would be critically important for Tasima to be involved in implementing eNatis in other SADC countries,” he says.

“Based on our experience over the past few years in South Africa, we believe that eNatis would sharply reduce cross-border theft of vehicles in the SADC region and also provide member countries with a state-of-the-art vehicle and driver registration and licensing system.”

Using eNatis in multiple countries, the status of a motor vehicle in the origin country can be verified before it is registered in the destined country.  The status may also be verified if the owner is traveling through the country on holiday.  For example, the police in Namibia may be able to verify the status of a South African motor vehicle en-route to Angola.  The same applies to driving licences.

“With this facility, a motor vehicle stolen in one country cannot be registered in another country or such vehicle will be identified by the local police,” adds Mphuti.

As is happening in South Africa, Mphuti also believes that the rollout of eNatis throughout the SADC region would enable these countries to add further layers of functionality to the system at a later stage. This could lead to the monitoring of driver behaviour and vehicle roadworthiness – as is being considered in South Africa – in years to come.

Importantly, says Mphuti, Tasima’s successful partnership with the National Department of Transport now enables electronic monitoring of over nine million vehicles and over six million drivers. It also provides the police, banks, insurance companies and local authorities with 24/7, 365 day access to the system.

“It took five years to build, develop and implement the system in South Africa and we have now had four years of operational experience, opening the way for eNatis to be adopted in other countries,” he says.

“Systems such as eNatis can play a major role in strengthening administrative service delivery, improving law enforcement and stimulating economic growth and development in the SADC region.”