Delays in vehicle licensing

2011-01-25 00:00

A PILOT project introduced by the Department of Transport in the Pietermaritzburg vehicle licensing offices, which was intended to fast-track applications, has failed miserably, causing long delays for motorists and dealers wanting to license their vehicles.

The department is now reverting to the old system to rectify the situation.

Local car dealers say they are at their wits’ end as the long delays are crippling their business.

A source in the industry who declined to be named said they have experienced long delays in the approval of licensing applications since the beginning of the year. They are waiting up to four days instead of 24 hours.

“We are missing our deadlines as the customers set a date when they will collect the cars and when they get there the car is not ready. Many of the customers do not want temporary permits, so when the car is not ready they leave.”

The source noted that January is normally a busy month at the licensing department and said this month was by far the worst. He said the situation was exacerbated by the the officials’ lack of concern and urgency.

“The reality is that they are treating us with utter disdain. We bring them the most money with dealers bringing in excess of R50 000 a day, but there is no concern for us.”

The source said it normally takes between 12 to 15 minutes for a complicated application to be processed, which means the 10 applications they send in a day could take several hours to process.

Vusi Mvelase, a manager at Garden City Motors, said he recently met officials from the department to try to sort out the problem.

“I believe the attitude of the employees there is the main cause of this problem.

“Numerous car dealerships are now writing to the department because they really do not know what to do. The Pietermaritzburg licensing office is the worst I have ever seen.”

A spokesperson for the Transport Department, Kwanele Ncalane, said the delays are only in Pietermaritzburg. “A new system was launched there to process applications quickly, but it failed. To rectify the problem we will revert to the old system, and the department’s offices will also be opened on weekends to deal with the backlog,” he said.





















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