Gauteng motorists and aspirants drivers have been spared the daunting task of spending hours in queues at licensing centres to obtain or renew their driver’s and learner licences.
The Department of Transport and its agency, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), on Thursday, launched the NaTIS Online Booking Services at the Centurion Licensing Station in Pretoria.
Developed by the RMTC, the system will see motorists making pre-bookings online for the renewal of their driver’s licences and learner licences. For now the service will only be available to Gauteng drivers.
The online services will ease the process of applying for vehicle driving licences, learner licence for applicants and will promote efficient service delivery and combat corruption by minimising the manipulation of the process by unscrupulous officials.
Bookings can be done at online.natis.gov.za.
Transport Minister Blade Nzimande said he was hopeful the system would assist in shortening long queues experienced at the testing stations.
“Some people have to take a day off from work in order to come here and what is sad is that you spend an entire day to get a service that lasts 15 minutes.
“We are also hoping that this will go towards eliminating corruption. Some people ask others to queue for them and also bribes are paid from the security gate onwards. We hope that at least with online [bookings] you can be your own master and book for yourself and not have to go through someone who will ask you to pay,” he said.
Government, he added, would also speed up the provision of the service to the rest of the country.
Gauteng Transport MEC Ismail Vadi, who was also at the event, said the online system improved the convenience factor.
“We have over the past few years found a lot of pressure in these centres. There were long queues and people bribing officials to jump the queues so they don’t have to stand five to six hours.
“We think this innovation will reduce the time significantly. The most important thing now is that, as a citizen, there is a lot of flexibility and choice. You can now choose the date, time and place where you want to do your renewal or the various other options,” he said.
RTMC project manager Kevin Kara-Vala said the service made it easier for the public to obtain bookings at the centres.
Dates, he said, could be secured within three days. It was only the eye-testing that was done at the centre before the actual driver tests were done.
“This service makes it easier for the public to not have to queue. You only come to the centre to verify your details and test your eyes as this is a legal requirement. – SAnews.gov.za