Friday is the last day for walk-ins at Gauteng’s new “smart” driver licence testing centre (DLTC) located at the Gautrain Midrand station.
Gautrain’s Tlago Ramalepa confirmed to City Press that from its launch last Thursday, the centre has been allowing people to walk in without the need to book for a slot via the National Administration Traffic Information System (Natis).
During the launch, Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure MEC Jacob Mamabolo claimed that the centre would halve the amount of time it takes people to renew their driver’s licences to 10 minutes.
READ: Ructions in Santaco over leadership
That’s the same amount of time as the train intervals at peak hours, between 6am and 8.30am, as well as 3.30pm and 6pm on weekdays.
Visiting the smart centre on Wednesday, City Press witnessed people being directed to the Gautrain Management Agency office just opposite the station. But two people were turned away.
One woman said:
Nyiko Nkuna, the acting executive manager of mobility as a service at the Gautrain Management Agency, which is responsible for running the smart centre, said the facility was experiencing technical difficulties, hence people were turned away.
Giving City Press a tour of the centre, Nkuna said although they designed it to be as efficient as possible, it runs systems by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) which are prone to failure.
Nkuna explained that they were allowing walk-ins as a means to identify issues with the system so they can fix the bugs in time for those who will visit the centre through Natis from Monday.
Services offered at the centre include driver’s licence renewal, as well as the issuing of temporary driver’s licences and professional driver’s licence permits.
This is how the process will work:
- Ushers will welcome customers at the door;
- They will confirm a customer’s booking and check if they have all the relevant documentation to go to the examiner stations;
- Customers will then fill a form for the service they require; and
- They will then be taken to the examiner station where everything including an eye test and payment for services will take place – all in the space of 10 minutes.
NATIS STILL THE FIRST PORT OF CALL
Nkuna said the Natis online booking system could do with some work as getting slots is notoriously difficult.
Slots are made available at 12pm from Monday to Friday.
“There is a huge number of people looking for slots and they pounce on them as soon as they are made available.”
The centre will be open from 8am to 5pm from Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 3pm on Saturday and Sunday.
It has four examiner stations and has been designed to be able to assist 216 customers per weekday and 288 customers on Saturday and Sunday combined, provided that the system works efficiently.