Polokwane Observer


- Maretha Swanepoel

Business hours at the Polokwane Municipali­ty’s traffic department in Ladanna have been extended for the remainder of the month to give motorists the opportunit­y to renew their driver’s licences.

The additional operating hours will also address the backlog of licensing-related transactio­ns.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic business hours had to be reduced. As the Covid-19 lockdown regulation­s were eased business slowly returned to normal but backlogs, staff shortages and restricted business hours became a new normal, causing huge frustratio­n among many.

Residents have been complainin­g about the queues at the traffic licensing department and the fact that only a certain number of people could be assisted per day.

People had to brave all weather conditions, queueing as early as 04:00 in the hope of being assisted. Some had to return for consecutiv­e days to finalise their applicatio­ns. Municipal spokespers­on Thipa Selala, previously told Polokwane Observer that the queues were shortened because the department can only accommodat­e a certain number of customers per day.

He explained that queues are long because motorists waited until the last minute to meet the deadlines to renew driver’s licences as set out by the Minister of Transport,

Fikile Mbalula.

During Covid-19 the department was forced to assist even fewer people in terms of renewals, resulting in longer queues.

On Tuesday the municipali­ty announced that operating hours are extended for May.

“From May 3-31, the hours will be extended in an effort to deal with the backlog with regards to applicatio­ns and renewals of driver’s licences,” Selala explained. Apart from being open during the week, the offices will now also be open over weekends.

During the week the operating hours are from 08:00 to 18:00. On Saturday from 08:00 to 15:00 and on Sundays from 08:00 to 14:00.

Transport Minister during the pandemic provided a grace period for motorists whose driver’s licence had expired between March 26, 2020 and August 31, 2021.

The grace period was extended for a final time to today (May 5) and motorists are advised to renew their licenses as soon as possible.

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