Gauteng Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo on Wednesday said he was worried about corruption and bribery in the licensing system. The festive season is around the corner and there is already a massive backlog when it comes to license renewals.
Mamabolo called the process a nightmare and acknowledged that motorists have no choice but to bribe their way through the system all the way from obtaining a drivers licence to renewing it and paying for vehicle license discs. In Gauteng alone, thousands of motorists are driving with expired licences largely due to the backlog created by the closure of license centres during the hard lockdown earlier this year.
“You must take leave from work to go and renew your licence. You need to have food to go camp there,” Mamabolo said. License renewal nightmares is not a new phenomenon and for years it has been a headache for motorists, but now, it has become a migraine. With less than two months before the festive season commences the usually larger number of motorists driving long distances may exacerbate the issue.
Mamabolo is concerned about the level of corruption in the department saying: “So you bribe all the way, they call it the cost of Coke.” Howard Dembovsky of Justice Project South Africa said it was no laughing matter. A smarter and easier way to issue licences must be implemented. “Corruption is no joking matter and it’s time our officials started taking these crimes very seriously.”