Driving school operators in Gauteng have vowed to shut down all driving licence testing centres (DLTCs) in the province, as they intensify efforts to have the online drivers’ licence booking system suspended.
Members of the National Driving School Association of SA (NDSASA) have been protesting since 24 February, saying the system has continuous glitches that prevent them from booking their clients.
The Department of Transport and Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) introduced the system to modernise services offered at the DLTCs and also help remove barriers to access and reduce opportunities for corrupt practices.
Earlier this month, the RTMC also announced upgrades to the system, introducing online payments for online licence booking.
This, it said, was designed to enhance online renewals and bookings to create a seamless booking experience when using online booking services.
However, the NDSASA is demanding the system be immediately suspended, saying the system is “not functioning well and is too slow”.
The group wants the one-time password system removed from the platform, as it claims this delays the booking process.
Secondly, it demands the removal of the e-mail address “because not all people who are using the system are having e-mail addresses”.
Lastly, the group wants authorities to fix the error messages that keep appearing on the system.
“We met with the Gauteng Department of Transport and they promised the system will be better today,” Abel Mositsa, NDSASA president, tells ITWeb.
“They promised to remove obstacles that are blocking us to book slots on the system but they didn’t do it. The system is still slow and not working. We have been complaining about this system since in 2018 when it was introduced and even today it’s not working properly.
“Today we are closing all 32 DLTCs in Gauteng; members all over have started closing the stations. Leadership of NDSASA will visit the stations, ensuring all are closed. We requested members to report on the progress and they are closing the centres as we speak.”
Major roads in Gauteng were gridlocked on 24 February as NDSASA members protested, leading to massive traffic delays.
Mositsa says NDSASA members marched to RTMC’s offices on 24 February and were told that people responsible for system changes were in a meeting in Midrand Waterfall office park, one of the RTMC offices.
“We arrived there and we met with an official who promised us they will remove some of the glitches on the systems that are preventing us to make bookings for our clients…but it hasn’t happened.
“Basically, they are fixing the system and the NDSASA wants the system to be put aside and then be re-introduced properly when it’s perfect.”
However, Simon Zwane, RTMC spokesperson, says: “The protesters have not sought an engagement with us. The glitches have been resolved and the system is stable today.
“We are listening to the feedback from users and continuously making improvements to ensure a better customer experience.”