National Assembly Question Time -No plans to privatise vehicle testing station


The minister responsible for Home Affairs and Transport Joël Morgan gave this information to the National Assembly on Tuesday when answering a question by elected member for Grand Anse Mahé Lenny Lebon.

Mr Lebon had asked the minister if there were any plans to give the VTS autonomy so that it stops relying on government budget.

“The VTS already has its autonomy as a regulator under the SLTA and we do not believe it should be privatised in view of this principal function,” said Minister Morgan.
He further added that this is necessary to ensure all vehicles are safe to be used on public roads.

He said it is worth noting that previously the functions of the VTS were being carried out by private garages and the government had to take over these functions for various reasons.

These included the fact that tests on vehicles were not being carried out even though road worthiness certificates were issued, there were large increases in the number of road accidents recorded as a result of mechanical faults, and large numbers of vehicles in deplorable state were allowed to use the road.

Mr Morgan said if the VTS was to be privatised under a commercial structure a lot of issues will arise and these will include more oversight which would mean more manpower provided by government to ensure the VTS maintain its regulatory role.

“All revenues collected through the vehicle testing service goes back to the government fund,’’ added Minister Morgan.

He further noted that the VTS financial figures clearly indicate that the station can sustain the cost of its operations and invest in new equipment when necessary.

The function of the VTS is to test vehicles and ensure they are in accordance with the law and are in good condition to run on public roads. It also works in collaboration with the police on cases of fatal accidents to determine the mechanical state of vehicles involved.

It also tests vehicles which the police pick out during spot checks and this is a paid service. 
The VTS also helps the customs division with regard to the importation of spare parts and vehicles in the country.
VTS is administered by the SLTA through a budget from the government.

Asked about the future development of the VTS, Minister Morgan said there are plans to extend the station which, due to increasing demands for its services, is reaching its capacity limit. Plans include recruiting additional staff to man the station in a more efficient manner and delivering services more promptly and adding another lane to test vehicles.
Among the major difficulties the VTS is presently facing include carrying out vehicle testing on Praslin and La Digue. Minister Morgan said the possibility of building such a station on Praslin is being considered. As for La Digue vehicle testing is expected to continue as it is.

The VTS has not been designed to test heavy vehicles of six tons and above and these are being done on other locations and there is a need to reinvest in equipment to carry out test on heavier vehicles.

Minister Morgan also answered several other questions by Assembly members and these were related to new bus stops, road enlargement and improvement in different areas of the country and the need for extra public bus services in certain localities.

In relation to the latter, Minister Morgan informed the Assembly that the Seychelles Public Transport Corporation (SPTC) is expected to start providing a bus service to Upper Karyol in the Anse Aux Pins district sometime next month following an increasing demand for such a service in that area.

He noted that the frequency of the services is yet to be determined by the SPTC.

The Assembly’s Tuesday sitting was the last for this term. It has now gone into recess and will resume for the start of its second term on May 21.