City of Cape Town Identifies ‘High Emission Culprits’

Almost 8000 diesel vehicles have been tested for dark smoke emissions in the Western Cape. The 12-month long testing found 68 failures and R30 000 in fines issued by the City of Cape Town.


The efforts were part of the Air Quality Management Plan for the Western Cape. This plan details the exact goals and initiatives aimed at lowering fuel emissions and increasing ‘clean and healthy air for all in the Western Cape’.

Black smoke emissions from a vehicle’s exhaust are a key contributing factor to air pollution and climate change.

Test Results


The test revealed less than 1% failure rate for excessive fuel emissions.

The majority of the 7904 vehicles tested were heavy duty trucks. Of the 68 failures (emitting dark smoke), 40 were fleet vehicles where the owner had requested the test. In such cases, owners were served with repair notices, instead of fines. These cars were also tested on a private road.

According to mayoral committee member for health, Siyabulela Mamkeli, the city was reasonably satisfied with efforts to tackle vehicles emitting dark smoke while using public roads. This in contravention of the Air Quality Management by-law. 

The diesel emissions testing unit also served 28 section 56 summonses. This in terms of the Criminal Procedures Act for failure to comply with emissions standards. 

“When we first started these diesel emissions tests, the failure rate was closer to 20 percent. So it’s clear that we have made a lot of progress but we cannot be complacent. The tests have become an integral part of our efforts to manage air quality in Cape Town and we will continue doing them.”

CLICK BELOW to read seven tips on how to drive greener.


How To Report a Harmful Vehicle

Members of the public could report vehicles emitting dark smoke to the city’s air quality management unit on 021-590-5200 during office hours. They would need to supply their details as well as the registration number of the offending vehicle, date and time of the observation, the street name, and the direction of travel of the vehicle. In instances where heavy-duty trucks were towing articulated trailers, the unit required the truck cab’s registration number.

“Emissions testing is but one aspect of our air quality management plan and ,while it focuses specifically on diesel vehicles, that is not to say that other road users are off the hook.”

“Vehicle emissions generally are a key contributing factor to air pollution and climate change. If we consider that the number of cars on the roads keeps increasing, it’s an uphill battle. We need to find sustainable ways to get people out of their single occupancy cars and, instead, using public transport or bicycles or pounding the pavements to help clear the air,” Mamkeli said.


Insurance Guru

Insurance Guru is here to help you simplify the complicated world of insurance, so you can make smart insurance decisions and get the best insurance deals for your situation.

View all posts by Insurance Guru →