NEWS & ANALYSIS

Drivers' licence chaos: Full inquiry needed – DA KZN

Rafeek Shah says nation wide delays reportedly not just due to strike action

Drivers' Licence chaos: DA calls for a full inquiry

30 January 2019

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will today write to KZN Transport MEC, Mxolisi Kaunda to request an immediate full-scale inquiry into damning claims that the nation-wide chaos around the issuing of drivers licence cards is the result of sabotage by just eight individuals employed by the Government Printing Works.

The allegation was made by Motor Licencing Bureau (MLB) officials during oversight inspections by the DA at the Camperdown and Estcourt Motor Licensing Bureaus earlier last week.

Officials have claimed that the current lengthy delays are not only the result of the Printing Works strike action between June and November 2018 but are also due to deliberate tampering with the eNatis system by certain employees during this period.

This includes wiping out or switching details such as applicants’ fingerprints, photos and eye test results which has led to hundreds of applicants having to re-do these tests.

During oversight inspections, various members of the public informed us that the DA that:

- They were reapplying after their applications – made between June and November last year - had been tampered with;

- They were now faced with a situation where they had to reapply for temporary licences over and over again;

- This while other applicants who applied for licence renewals after November 2018 had already received their cards;

- They had been told that their original application had to be removed from the eNatis system before they could reapply; and

- Despite this, some had since received duplicate licenses.

- These findings support DA’s request for a full probe.

There seems to be no end to the frustrations being experienced by KZN’s law-abiding citizens when it comes to obtaining new or renewed drivers licence cards. Yet is seems that the real problem exists at a higher level. The question is – why have these eight individuals not been dealt with?

The DA understands that they are all back at work following the strike action and have not suffered any consequence despite their treasonable actions

Many of the people the DA spoke to during the oversights were queueing for the third or even the fourth time to either reapply or inquire after their licenses. The mere fact that they are forced to do so means time and money with many forced to take unpaid leave for days and cover travel costs.

The issue of insurance claims in the event of a collision – while they only have temporary licenses – is also of concern to the DA and we expect clarity from MEC Kaunda around this issue.

During the inspections the DA also spoke to:

- A woman who was almost in tears as she was afraid of losing her job which requires that she has a valid drivers’ license. She said that after coming here for several months she has practically lost hope of ever getting her license card. There were others in the queue who said they could not even apply for jobs while they did not have their valid licences;

- Another woman who told us that she had received an SMS advising her to go to the Estcourt MLB to collect her drivers' license. She was given a batch number to quote on arrival but when she got there she was told my officials that no such batch number existed. The card has still not been found; and

- Another woman told us that in November 2018 she went to the Estcourt MLB to follow up after having applied for her drivers’ license many months before. The officials checked on the eNatis system which showed that her photo had never been received. This meant that she had to re-do the entire process. At this point her earlier application was cancelled on the system yet when she finally got an SMS to tell her to collect her license card to her amazement - as well as that of the clerk on duty – she had received not one but two driver’s licenses with same details.

It is clear that the entire country’s monitoring and capturing system has been compromised as a result of the actions of a few selfish individuals. Yet it is the officials and clerks at these two MLBs who are facing the wrath of frustrated applicants. This is unacceptable.

The DA will today write to KZN Transport MEC, Mxolisi Kaunda. We expect him to treat this information with the seriousness it deserves and to urge his national counterparts to launch a full-scale enquiry into the actions of the employees of the Government Printing Works. As the political head of Transport in KZN, MEC Kaunda is answerable to every road user in our province for this debacle. The DA will hold him to this.

Issued by Rafeek Shah, DA KZN Spokesperson on Transport, 30 January 2019