Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has opened two new Drivers’ Licence Testing Centres in Gauteng in a bid to reduce the backlog.
One is in Waterfall in Midrand, while the other is at the RTMC office at Eco Park in Centurion. Mbalula says the new centres will also help to fight corruption.
Despite repeated extensions for the renewal of driver’s licences, the Transport Department remains concerned about the low number of motorists taking advantage of the grace period.
The backlog of expired licenses nationally currently stands at 633 800, 220 000 of which are in Gauteng. Mbalula says the new centre will help speed up the process.
“A little over a month ago, we made an undertaking that we will put measures in place to alleviate challenges experienced by motorists in renewing their licences in the country. We committed to attend to the challenges with the necessary urgency. In order to give motorists a fair opportunity to renew their expired driving licences, we extended the validity of the period.”
Minister Mbalula’s briefing on interventions put in place to address the drivers’ license renewal backlog:
Forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the department says it has embraced technology to improve service delivery and turn-around times. Mbalula says, unlike other licencing centres services, the new centres have been configured in such a way that the public will not experience long queues.
He says runners or middlemen who peddle corrupt practices and solicit bribes, will not be allowed anywhere near these premises.
“These centres will set a new benchmark in professionalism, efficiency, and service delivery while helping us reduce the backlog of expired driving licences. We want to do away with corruption.”
Motorists at the new centre in Centurion were impressed by the speedy service.
“There was so no queue and everyone was friendly. In all the years of coming to renew my licence, I have never seen such. And the technology makes it so quick,” says one of the motorists.
The grace period for all expired driving licences has once again been extended, this time to 31 March 2022.
The centres will operate from 7am to 9pm, Monday to Sunday.