Transport minister Fikile Mbalula says that his department is working on a significant IT and tech overhaul at driving licence testing centres across South Africa in an effort to reduce wait times.
Answering in a written parliamentary Q&A this week, Mbalula said this will include the replacement of live enrolment/live capture units with ‘smart enrolment units’ throughout the country.
These units are used for eye-testing and other functions when renewing or applying for a driver licence in South Africa. Mbalula said that the project will first commence in Gauteng and will be incorporated into the online booking system.
The minister said that Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) is also in the process of refreshing all end-user devices at licence testing centres throughout the country. This is a multi-year programme scheduled for completion in March 2022, he said.
Additionally, the RTMC is deploying a Computerised Learner’s License Testing (CLLT) solution at all licence testing centres, with this project set to be completed by March 2024, the minister said.
“The corporation is also in the process of procuring the new core infrastructure to improve the stability and uptime of the system. This should be completed by end of February 2022.”
Speaking on the current backlog affecting driver licences, Mbalula said that testing centres will have additional staff made available, and will stay open for longer.
“In all provinces affected by the backlog, working hours have been extended including operations on Saturdays.
“The RTMC is opening additional driving licence testing centres with more staff working from 07h00 in the morning and ending at 21h00 at night for seven days a week.”
“This initiative will increase the capacity in Gauteng by 30%. The initiative can be deployed nationally in consultation with the MECs concerned,” he said.