Gauteng Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure MEC Jacob Mamabolo says that the provincial government will make changes to driver’s licence bookings to address its growing backlog.
As of Monday (16 November), all driver testing licensing centres (DLTCs) in the province will dedicate 70% of booking slots and capacity to driving licence renewals to address current backlogs, he said.
“We have also taken a decision that available capacity in the DLTCs such as equipment, machinery and staff will be dedicated to addressing the backlog in driving licenses renewals,” he said.
A provincial management operations centre will be established to monitor the activities of DLTCs on a daily basis as well as to ensure that the decisions are implemented.
“There will also be a dedicated team to maintain and service the equipment and machinery that is used to process the driving licence renewals on a regular basis,” he said.
The department also plans to commence a forensic investigation into allegations of corruption, bribery and collusion at DLTCs in the province in December 2020.
“While the current Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the driving licence renewals backlog, it has also laid bare the fact that over the years the DLTCs have not been functioning optimally.
“The DLTCs capacity has not been increased to match the demand and pressure brought by the growing population,” Mamabolo said.
This week Transport minister Fikile Mbalula revealed that South Africa has a backlog of 320,000 driving licence, with demand growing by 90,000 each month.
Speaking to eNCA, Mbalula said this backlog is caused by corruption among back-office staff at driving licence testing centres.
Over the past few weeks, many South Africans trying to renew their driving licences expressed frustration with the system. One of the main complaints is the online booking system, where it is exceedingly difficult to get a slot for licence renewals.