Jacob Mamabolo, Gauteng Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure MEC, says that the provincial government will be making changes to driver’s licence bookings to address its growing backlog. As of Monday the 16th of November, all driver testing licensing centres (DLTCs) in the province will dedicate 70% of all booking slots and capacity to driving licence renewals to address current backlogs, Mamabolo 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.
The activities of the DLTC’s will be monitored on a daily basis by establishing a provincial management operations centre. The management centre will also ensure that these 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,” Mamabolo said.
The department also discussed 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,” the MEC said.
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula this week revealed that South Africa has a backlog of 320,000 driving licence, with demand growing by 90,000 each month. Mbalula said this backlog is caused by corruption among back-office staff at driving licence testing centres. The past few weeks has seen many South Africans trying to renew their driving licences expressing frustration with the system. One of the many complaints is the online booking system, where it is exceedingly difficult to get a slot for licence renewals.