Solutions sought to curb long queues at traffic departments

2018-01-17 06:02
Member of the Mayoral Committee for Safety and Security, Councillor John Best.            Photo:SUPPLIED

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Safety and Security, Councillor John Best. Photo:SUPPLIED

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THE Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) is currently seeking a number of solutions to curtail the long queues at the Korsten and Uitenhage traffic and driver’s licensing centres that resulted in a wave of frustration by the public, said the Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Safety and Security, Councillor John Best.

“Our continuous efforts to get the Road Traffic Management Corporation, ultimately responsible for driver’s licence centres, to address broken machines at the traffic and licensing centres presented us with an unintended consequence,” he added.

Best said they converted from the outdated live capturing units, which had reached the end of their shelf lives and caused numerous problems, and became the first metropolitan municipality in the country to be upgraded to the new live enrolment machines.

“When the other metropolitan municipalities also underwent the same conversion, more machines were added to the network, making the system much slower.

“While a normal transaction would initially take five minutes, it can now take up to 20 minutes to register. I cannot express how sorry I am for members of the public who must wait in long queues before they can be helped.

“We were informed by the Department of Transport that network problems persist between Korsten and the national office in Pretoria.”

“We negotiated with the national department once again. We engaged with Telkom as the network provider and our IT department to find a faster network connection to address the tardiness of the current system.”

Best said this would ensure that the system is faster which will enable them to assist more clients.

“Other critical solutions include the establishment of a B-class traffic and licensing centre at the Motherwell Thusong Service Centre, which will provide all the services except for processing motorcycle licences.

“We envisaged this centre with eight new live enrolment machines to be operational by the end of February. Staff members are already trained to man the facility.

“As soon as the Motherwell Thusong Service Centre is accredited by the national Department of Transport, residents will be able to get services closer to them and mitigate the demand at the centres in Uitenhage and Korsten,” he continued.

According to Best, the Department has already visited the Motherwell centre three times and advised officials as to what must be done to become compliant.

“The Director of Traffic and Licensing, Warren Prins, in collaboration with the Executive Director of Safety and Security, Advocate Keith Meyer, are looking at two additional points where only the renewal of driver’s licenses will be done.

“This would mean that we will have a traffic and licensing centre in Korsten, another in Uitenhage and one in Motherwell by May this year and the two additional points for the renewals that will come online towards the end of the year.”

No other transactions except the renewal of existing driver’s licenses will be done at those two points, which means residents will be able to walk up to a live enrolment unit and update their licenses.

“We are also investigating the possible implementation of an online booking system which is currently used by other metropolitan municipalities with great success.

“This will enable members of the public to make a booking as at any other professional business.

“This will eliminate situations where more people than the centre can accommodate or service pitch up at the traffic and drivers licensing centres.

“Nobody else besides those who have booked will then be assisted,” Best concluded.

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