Improvements for driver’s licences in South Africa are coming – including shorter wait times

The Department of Transport has pledged to improve service delivery at driving license testing centres across South Africa as it looks to enforce Minimum Service Delivery Standards (MSDS).

While standards were first published as far back as 2013, the department recognised that there were still a number of complaints around long queues and poor service. The most recent MSDS was published at the end of 2020 and is currently being implemented.

In a presentation on the MSDS to parliament on Wednesday (9 June), the department said that charters will be erected in these centres to display the services rendered, the exact costs associated and the expected time frames of the service.

The charters will also provide public contact details if the expected service does not live up to standard.

Other changes which are expected to help improve service delivery include:

  • Clear road signage showing where the centre is located, and signage inside the facility highlighting where services are available.
  • Centres should have adequate client parking facilities.
  • There should be adequate security at the facilities, including but not limited to security guards, burglar bars and alarms.
  • All state equipment, including card and Natis capture equipment, should be insured against loss or damage.
  • Centres should have all the necessary forms readily available and provided free of charge. These forms should also be available on the department’s website. There should also be adequate staff to assist clients in completing these forms.
  • There must be adequate space inside for seating and queuing, and cover outside to protect queuing customers from the elements.
  • Queues should be monitored to ensure that clients are in the correct queues and that they have all of the required documents to complete their transaction.
  • Average waiting times will be established, and services must be completed in these times.
  • A service delivery desk should be established and staffed at all times for larger centres.
  • Business operating hours should be clearly stated and services should be rendered non-stop during these hours.
  • Clients should be informed when their card is available for collection.
  • A complaints register should be kept to record the complaints of customers, with an acknowledgement of complaint sent out within three days. Centres should also be able to provide monthly feedback on complaints.

Complaints

In May, transport minister Fikile Mbalula announced a number of planned improvements for the renewal process in his department budget speech on Friday (21 May).

Mbalula said that his department has taken heed of a ‘plethora of complaints’ from members of the public around driver and vehicle licencing.

“The end-game of our interventions is improved service delivery and enhanced efficiency in the functioning of DLTCs, free of corruption.” he said.

“We have engaged as the three spheres of government and have agreed on a range of measures that will address the most pressing challenges relating to driver and vehicle licensing.”

Mbalula said that this will include:

  • Longer operating hours at licensing centres;
  • The use of technology to eliminate queues;
  • The introduction of an online interface for optometrist and medical practitioners to upload eye test results on the eNatis.

Read: South Africa’s incoming driving laws face a serious road block

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Improvements for driver’s licences in South Africa are coming – including shorter wait times