Licence centre dispute

2019-07-03 06:02

THE City has been asked for R4 million to move the Msunduzi licence centre out of the A.S. Chetty Building to comply with national regulations, but the finance and executive committees argue this is too much and councillors have asked for a clearer breakdown of costs.

The community services unit has recommended that it be moved to the neighbouring Professor Nyembezi Centre in Church Street.

This comes after an audit by the Provincial Driving Licence Inspectorate found that the current office space did not comply with the national requirement in terms of size, equipment and staff complement.

It was also found that the centre often becomes congested as it attracts a large number of people.

In his report to the council committees, the City’s superintendent for training and auxiliary services, Sibonelo Ngubeni, said Msunduzi must pull up its socks and address the audit findings or risk having the Department of Transport (DOT) close the centre down.

This would mean five administrative staff would be made redundant and equipment worth R750 000 would be left without any use.

“About R4 million annual revenue currently received by city council would be lost amidst this critical financial state in the country,” said Ngubeni.

He added that the millions of rands requested from the council is for renovating the new premises and purchasing new equipment to meet the latest technological standards required by the DOT.

The new offices, Ngubeni said, would allow the municipality to introduce additional services, including the renewal of motor vehicle registration.

Neither the finance nor executive committees were against the relocation but councillors felt that R4 million bill was too steep.

Glenn McArthur (DA) said the licence centre was not Msunduzi’s core business and that the DOT should shoulder the expense for the relocation. He added that the municipality already had other responsibilities that were on hold because of financial constraints.

Nokuthula Msimang’s proposal for the committee to be given the financial breakdown of what the funds would be spent on, before deciding on the matter, was supported by fellow councillors.

Mehmod Oumar (ANC) said if there was a plan to relocate the centre then it should be moved to a place where there was adequate parking.

General manager for community services, Boniwe Zulu, said they would provide the committees with the cost benefit and financial analysis for having a licence centre.

While they wait for the reports requested by the committees, the municipality risks losing DOT’s permission to operate the centre, but administrator Sbusiso Sithole believes they are necessary for councillors to make an informed decision. “It’s not too much to ask,” he added.

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