Better service on the horizon at licence centres

Friday, September 6, 2019

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has announced measures aimed at improving service delivery at driving licensing testing centres (DLTC).

“With regard to fraud and corruption, law enforcement officials from the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), the Fraud and Corruption Unit in the department and Hawks operations, which arrests officials for selling driving licences at DLTC, will be intensified,” Mbalula said.

Addressing members of the media in Johannesburg on Friday, Mbalula said these operations were aimed at dealing with corrupt individuals in the system who work to undermine the proper function of the DLTCs.

As parts of his efforts towards working for an efficient and effective transport sector, Mbalula visited the Langlaagte Traffic Department to inspect the centre’s service delivery.

The Minister's visit was in response to a public outcry over service delivery issues at various DLTC.

Members of the public raised concerns related to the unavailability of slots on the online booking service, fraud and corruption at the testing centres as well as collusion between driving schools and officials. 

By way of solutions, Mbalula indicated that more online booking slots will be opened and that applicants will be able to book for tests at any DLTC. 

“… Learners are being told to bring extra money by driving school owners to give to testing officials... All of these issues will be addressed by means of law enforcement and by ensuring that we bring the e-filling system into our planning so that we are able to move in a faster pace to address some of the challenges,” Mbalula said.

The Minister said the payment port on the system will be available before the end of the financial year and a SMS notification system is being worked on and will be functional before the end of the financial year.

Mbalula noted that there is no dedicated hotline number where applicants or members of the public can file DLTC related complaints, adding that the possibility of setting up such a hotline is being looked into. 

“We will not tolerate lawlessness. We are clamping down on issues of runners who take advantage of applicants outside the DLTC, the selling of driving and learner licences, collusion between eye examiners and optometrists, as well as the manipulation of the National Traffic Information System (eNaTiS) system by officials. All this must come to an end,” the Minister said. 

Mbalula said his visit to Langlaagte was to, among others, highlight the department’s no-nonsense approach in turning the situation around at DLTCs.

“We are going to make improvements in terms of our technological capacity. The Department of Transport, working with other departments, is going to intensify its operations in relation to cross-border matters and ensure that [there is no room for] illegal trucks to come into the country...

“Our ineptness to act and be decisive leads to society feeling helpless and taking the law into their own hands and as such, undermining the authority of the State,” he said. –