LETTER | Let's be very honest about the eNatis system - reader

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Photo Illustration by Robin Utrecht/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Photo Illustration by Robin Utrecht/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Robin Utrecht

• Gauteng motorists continue to battle to book online licence appointments.

• Readers have been battling for more than four months, if not longer.

• Wheels24 reader Elaine Patrick shares the frustration of what motorists go through when trying to book online.

• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za

In the plight to fight for the motorists who have been battling for months trying to get an online appointment for new driver's licences or driver licence renewals, we will be publishing letters from the public to highlight their struggles with a failing system.

With that said, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has indicated they'll send a response regarding the online booking system later this week. We can only hope and pray they've come up with a solution."

For now, I'll continue to voice the concerns of our readers as this never-ending battle continues.

Wheels24 reader Elaine Patrick writes in and explains what the general public has to go through with the failing eNatis online system; this is what she has to say:  It's probably the biggest representation of the failure of hiring unqualified people in our government.

Like most people in Gauteng, a person has to swing the wheel of fortune, to get a chance place in a set number of places for renewing your driver's license "on a Monday only".

licence booking, natis system, rtmc
Image: Wheels24 reader Hermione Hurwitz

Do not be fooled, this information is not shown on your cell phone site, as the site is not responsive... 

So kudos to the web designer on that one!

The fact that most users of this site will be using their cell phones, it didn't enter their minds at their multiple NATIS meetings they probably sat at, while designing this horrendous failure. 

If you are lucky enough to sit at a desktop pc to book, you would have to be at the correct page on the NATIS website to read when you may book for, and on what day. 

Wait, we are not done. 

Then you have to wait for your OTP, to continue the booking if incredibly you get a slot. 

Wait, we are not done still. 

So should you by chance be one of the honest 99.9 per cent of people who entered both an email address and telephone number, well then you are straight out of luck.

enatis,motorist, lapta

Image: Getty Images

This is because the state of the art system gets confused (it seems) and never sends an email, or OTP. 

By trial and error, we, the public, pass on the information to each other by word of mouth, that just entering your cell number and no email means you may get lucky to get an OTP on your phone. 

No OTP means no booking and no confirmation that it was not successful. 

You may now go wait in line for a few hours, at whatever centre you think you have a booking at because you are praying hard they got the booking...

Just to get to the front of the queue after two hours to be told you are not on the list and a heartfelt "I'm sorry, we get a lot of complaints about the system." 

And note, the slot you didn't acquire doesn't get reallocated to someone else, it just disappears into cyberspace. 

BUT wait, WHY you may ASK? 

Well, the whole of South Africa does not seem to have a single qualified database engineer, programmer or website professional on hand. Logically, it seems it must be the case. 

So how to solve this horror story?

You would think with all the billions this department makes off of us and being well-aware that their mess does not work, that perhaps they could buy an online booking system from a reputable international company? Doesn't seem to have occurred to them. 

So we carry on week after week, after week, after week, hoping that we get lucky on the few minutes on a Monday morning that there are slots available, to allow us to be honest South African citizens carrying a valid driver's license. 

But we have more chance of being pulled over and threatened to pay a bribe instead. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
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