Learners to book online
New system aims to stamp out corruption by letting learner drivers choose test date and venue
THE Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) plans to launch an online booking system in September to combat corruption in issuing of driver’s licences to learner drivers.
The new system will enable the learner driver to choose the date, time and the town where they wish to take their tests by logging on an online application and finalise pre-bookings in five to 10 minutes.
The system will also be available to those wishing to renew their driving licence cards.
National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit spokesperson Simon Zwane said the current system “involves a lot of handling”, which creates opportunities for unscrupulous driving schools and officers to block off days to “test” pupils who have already bought their licences.
The current process requires applicants to queue for between 140-180 minutes at a testing station. Corrupt officials at the licensing centres have an incentive to withhold available bookings for lucrative payments from willing applicants.
Zwane said the new system will benefit the public by promoting efficient service delivery, removing barriers to access, eliminating fraud and corruption and optimising business operations.
It is also eliminating time and money used by applicants to travel to various licensing centres to secure bookings.
The solution will also allow licensing centre managers to better prepare for volumes of ex- pected applicants and allocate resources accordingly.
The system will first be available in Gauteng and while the RTMC has no dates for a nationwide roll-out yet, KZN is a high priority for the corporation after it had revealed in May that as many as one in three licences in KZN have been obtained fraudulently due to rampant corruption.
March, the RTMC and the Hawks arrested 15 people at the uMngeni Licensing Office in Howick, which only recently reopened.
Those who were arrested included five officials from the licensing office, two traffic officers, nine learners’ applicants, and a cleaner.
In May a couple were arrested at the Mkondeni licensing centre after a woman allegedly attempted to write the learner’s licence test on behalf of her partner.
Three others were also arrested at the Estcourt licensing centre for fraud related matters.
KZN Department of Transport spokesperson Mluleki Mntungwa said the department had suspended several inspectors and municipal supervisors who were responsible for testing stations and appealed to all applicants for learner’s and driver’s licenses not to engage any middle man and to refrain from any corrupt activities in acquiring driver’s licences.
Mntungwa said the department was in the process of updating its systems and its technology to detect corruption.
Advocate Johan Jonck, who founded Arrive Alive, said it was almost impossible to establish the real scale of the problem due to improperly-issued licences being indistinguishable from genuine ones on e-Natis.
“It’s difficult to come up with numbers and to know exactly how many licences are awarded fraudulently.”
Jonck said corruption threatening the safety and lives of everyone on the roads.
A new online booking system aims to stamp out selling of driver’s licences across South Africa.