• The online Natis system is a frustrating system for Gauteng motorists.
• Gauteng Licence Bookings is a company that secures bookings for the public at a small fee.
• This could be the answer for those motorists who have been battling to get an online slot for months.
• For more motoring stories, go to Wheels24
Motorists have been battling for more than a year to get booking slots on the online Natis system. But there's a little company that's helping Gauteng drivers one at a time.
There's not a day that goes by where we don't hear from motorists who can't find any bookings on the Natis system for weeks or months now. But, the other day, a different email came through from Wheels24 reader Piston Broke, who wrote in and told me about the Gauteng Licence Bookings company.
I was intrigued and reached out to find out more because if anyone out there can assist our battling motorists before the 31 August deadline, our readers need to know about it.
Doing the hard work
Instead of sitting on the computer for hours trying to get an online licence appointment, there's a company that will do all the hard work for you at a small fee of R200 per transaction. You fill in your details, and this company streamlines the entire process, which has become an absolute nightmare for most Gauteng motorists.
Amelia Bezuidenhout is the owner of Amelia's Driving Academy and the founder of Gauteng Licence Bookings. Because they needed bookings for their clients to do learners and drivers' tests, it became more difficult to get bookings.
Bezuidenhout says: "We were forced to become more intricate and sophisticated in the booking making process due to the competitive nature of getting a booking for our own clients. As we expanded, our own clients' families and friends enquired about renewal bookings and making learners and drivers test bookings and PDP bookings. We recognised the market for rendering the service to the public.
So in 2019, Gauteng Licence Bookings (GLB) was established.
"Today, we are even rendering our services to other driving schools and organisations who don't have the time or the manpower to make the bookings for their clients," she says.
What's been your biggest challenge when it comes to the Natis system? Email us or use the comment section below.
So how does it work?
Mariska Bezuidenhout, the owner of GLB, says making bookings has become a science: "Our staff operate like well-oiled machines. We work together as a team. We understand each other. We type fast. We are sharp as minora blades. The general public does not have the time to sit on the system every second of every day. When booking slots are released, they are usually gone within seconds."
She says the service they render entails making bookings on behalf of the public at a fee.
Their information is submitted via an online form which motorists complete on the website, and upon receiving their details, the data captured is first verified. It then goes onto a system that the company has specifically designed to enable getting the maximum capacity out of the slots released.
Mariska adds: "Once we can secure a booking on behalf of a client, we inform them via WhatsApp, with a list of documents they need to take with them on the day of the booking, as well as the date, time and location of the booking, and a Natis generated PDF booking confirmation. We have the best equipment on the market paired with the quickest staff. That makes us the leaders in the field of making online bookings. We make bookings for licence card renewals, PDPs and learners and drivers tests."
What's more, the business is entirely female-owned, run by a team of eight women, and "an annoying IT man who ensures the systems run at optimal levels.
"We can secure as many bookings as we do because we are highly skilled with the best equipment, fastest internet and the world's patience to sit on the system constantly," Mariska notes.
But it isn't always sunshine and roses. Mariska says there are many days when tears are shed on an unsuccessful day because the Natis system did not release many slots.
"It's heartbreaking for us because we know the public relies on us to get these bookings secured on their behalf."
She says the gist is that the testing centres do not release enough booking slots to accommodate the public demand - a problem that has been around long before the pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic has not helped this situation at all.
"We solely rely on what the Natis system releases; we have to book the slots that are available to us. These bookings are worth gold due to the competitive nature of securing bookings, as the public has access to the Natis system, and numerous companies and individuals are rendering the same service we do," says Mariska.
At R200 a pop per booking for learner's licences, driving licence bookings or PDP bookings, it's worth not having to deal with the stressful Natis system when someone else can do it for you. You can visit the website here.