LETTER | There's an angel at Port Alfred licencing centre and she's a breath of fresh air

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A driver's licence. Image: Duncan Alfreds
A driver's licence. Image: Duncan Alfreds
Duncan Alfreds, News24

With all the stress surrounding driving licences, this reader's letter brought some sunshine and a glimmer of hope for for those who have to go through the licence renewal process.

A little while back, Wheels24 reader Keith Moir wrote in and shared his experiences and frustrations about renewing his driving licence. He also made some suggestions about the renewal system.

Moir wrote: "I am a pensioner who has struggled for a year to get a licence renewed because the "system" cannot read my fingerprints. I know of people who have waited three years for the same reason!

"I would like to pose the question - what are we actually achieving with the current driving license scenario?

"1. It certainly does absolutely nothing to help with the horrific traffic accident chaos on our roads.

"2. It does nothing to promote better or safer driving.

"3. It does nothing to stop the fraudulent sale of motor vehicle driving licences out there.

"4. It is an abysmal waste of time as people old and young have to queue for hours wasting precious productive time for this senseless "system". It must be one of the most inefficient and ineffectual systems for which taxpayers and motorists get fleeced time and again - in fact, with every transaction!

"The only benefit I can see from this inane renewal system is that people go for an eye check every five years.

"Perhaps we need to treat it like the abysmal eToll debacle and decide for ourselves that enough is indeed enough, and just refuse to renew licences until the officials bring in changes to which we agree, and that will positively lower the death toll on our roads."

Do you have a good news vehicle or driving licence story to share? Please email the editor here, we'd love to publish your thoughts or experiences.

A few weeks later, Mr Moir corresponded with me again, this time with some good news.

Moir wrote: "How refreshing and what a pleasure to get a personal answer from someone actually monitoring the really irritating things that are happening in our beautiful country – things that seem to offer no actual benefits and negatively affect our every-day lives!

"Thank you too for the offer of help.

"I ordered my replacement licence in Port Alfred, Eastern Cape, and there now seems a glimmer of hope that the process of getting the license "without fingerprints" is actually happening!

"There was a new lady appointed at the licencing office who telephoned me four times in the space of two days to inform me what was happening, and that the license application has been processed - what a difference!

"When we asked her where she had been for the last three years, she replied "sitting and eating pap in the township, then I managed to get this job!"

"It is just amazing what one person, who has the desire to provide customer service, can do.

"Hopefully, the whole licencing office staff can learn from her, and really raise the level of service.

"Hooray for Mrs Vee (as she calls herself) in the Port Alfred Licencing Office, what a breath of fresh air!"
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