Gauteng Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo says that driving licence renewals is an inefficient and extremely corrupt system from which criminals have made lots of money.
“We are fighting one of the most highly organised criminal syndicates,” Mamabolo told news channel eNCA.
Mamabolo’s statements come after transport minister Fikile Mbalula extended the grace period for renewing driving licence cards from 31 August 2021 to 31 March 2022.
All learner’s licences, driving licence cards, temporary driving licences, and professional driving permits that expired between 26 March 2020 and 31 August 2021 are deemed to be valid.
Their validity periods are extended for a further grace period ending on 31 March 2022.
Motorists were granted the original grace period due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Aside from the system’s inefficiency, there were also allegations that individuals and organisations were manipulating it to sell slots.
Mamabolo said the Gauteng Provincial Government appointed a forensic investigation company to investigate the issue.
“We will be making an impact on cracking the syndicates and networks of corruption that are making it difficult for everybody to get a slot,” he said.
Mamabolo told eNCA that all 40 driving licence testing centres (DLTCs) in Gauteng were under investigation — 34 run by local municipalities and 6 run by the provincial government.
He said that if municipalities do not show that they are willing to act on overwhelming evidence of corruption, the Gauteng provincial government may revoke their powers to operate DLTCs.
According to the eNCA report, 430,000 driving licence renewals remain outstanding, and government has set a target of 35,000 slot allocations every month.
To help achieve this, Mamabolo said they launched a new “Request A Slot” campaign.
Motorists can visit the website, download the app, or send an email to one of two addresses to request a renewal slot from a testing centre.
Mamabolo explained that motorists would be prompted to provide the information needed to book their slot and receive their appointment within 30 days of making the request.