According to the Sol Plaatje Municipality the following services are not available until further notice: renewal of driving licences, applications for driving licence appointments, applications for learner’s licence appointments and applications for professional driving permits.
THE SOL Plaatje Municipality has apologised for the apparent chaos at the municipality’s licensing department after members of the public queued for up to three hours, only to be told that the machine used for eye tests and fingerprints was out of order.
Only after complaints were received on Wednesday did the municipality inform the public on its Facebook page that the LEU (Live Enrolment Unit) machine at its vehicle registration section was currently out of order. “We have logged a call with the provincial Department of Transport,” the post stated.
The NaTIS, a national register, provides for the registration and licensing of vehicles and is managed by the National Department of Transport, which is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the hardware at municipal licensing departments.
According to the Sol Plaatje Municipality, the following services are not available until further notice: renewal of driving licences, applications for driving licence appointments, applications for learner’s licence appointments and applications for professional driving permits.
Municipal spokesperson Thoko Riet said on Wednesday that the municipality had two LEU machines that had been giving problems since before the lockdown.
“Since last week we have been operating with only one machine and on Monday this week, the only machine that was still working also gave in.”
She added that the matter had been reported to the provincial department’s help desk to dispatch a technician to fix the machines.
“This is something that is out of the hands of the municipality,” she added.
Riet apologised to the public, adding that the municipality was doing its “level best but there is nothing we can do if these machines are not working”.
Irate members of the public, however, were not impressed with the municipality’s excuses.
“I went to the municipality’s licensing section to apply for my driver’s licence on Tuesday and stood for three hours before we were told that we needed to be patient as the machine for the eye test and fingerprint was not working,” a city resident said.
She added that no one could tell her when it would be fixed. “We were told to phone before we came to check if it was working, but someone else, who was also waiting, pointed out that he had done so previously and the phone was never answered.”
She stated that some people had indicated that they had been back on three or four occasions and were still waiting.
“We went back again this morning, only to be told at the gate that the machine was still out of order.”
She questioned how often the machine was serviced and maintenance done.
“If the machines are antiquated, then they need to get new ones or a better system. Some people put in leave from work to get their licences but were turned away, while there were also elderly people who were left standing in the queue.
“It appears that this happens on a regular basis.”