DA requests MEC to provide relief to KZN residents as motor licensing bureau crisis worsens

Democratic Alliance media statement by Rafeek Shah, MPL

DA Spokesperson on Transport

DA requests MEC to provide relief to KZN residents as motor licensing bureau crisis worsens

The Democratic Alliance today calls on KZN Transport MEC, Mxolisi Kaunda, to provide immediate relief to thousands of citizens who are the victims of a chaotic situation at Motor Licensing Bureaus (MLBs) around the province.

The call comes following after a five-month long labour dispute involving license printers which has led to long queues and extreme frustration for those trying to renew their driver’s licences, book various tests or sort out vehicle licensing.

The DA is concerned by the lack of urgency on the part of MEC Kaunda and his Department to intervene and ensure that MLB’s are operating at full capacity. These are KZN’s law-abiding citizens and it is unacceptable that they should have to spend hours and sometimes days queuing just to avoid prosecution.

The DA expects the MEC to take the following immediate steps to improve current conditions:

-          Deal with the staff shortages which are hampering service delivery. There are critical and general posts that need to be filled;

-          Implement a system with different queues for different services;

-          Attend to the shocking infrastructure that exists at many MLB’s as a result of poor maintenance. This includes simple things such as fixing toilets and ablution facilities. In many instances the needs of physically challenged persons are also not catered for; and

-          Root out and ensure consequence management when it comes to endemic corruption. This scourge continues to place innocent road users’ lives at risk.

Recent reports citing IT problems at various licensing centres also raise red flags. Funding was set aside to deal specifically with the upgrade and maintenance of such equipment. The question is – why do the problems persist? Was the money ever spent on this and, if so, where are the results? The DA will expect the MEC to account for this.

Last month, the DA made a plea to the MEC and his Department that thoseawaiting renewed licenses – and who could provide proof thereof – to be allowed to drive without threat of prosecution this festive season. The request was turned down.

There is no reason why the people of KZN should be expected to pay for a problem caused by a failed ANC government. There is also no reason why KZN’s people they should not be provided the same relief as those living within the DA-led Western Cape. In that province:

-        If a law-abiding citizen applied to get their license renewed before it expired, they can still drive with the old one for a period of three months after the expiry date;

-        Only if they applied after the expiry date do they need to get a temporary driving license which costs R45 – in KZN the cost is R90 – and is valid for 6 months; and

-        In the case where an individual applied for a renewal before the expiry date, and whose three month grace period has lapsed, a six month temporary license is issued free of charge.

The question is – if this can be done in the Western Cape then why isn’t MEC Kaunda doing it here in KZN?

A DA-led government in KZN would prioritise service delivery across all platforms. And we would listen to what the people want.

As the political head of Transport in KZN, MEC Kaunda is answerable to every road user in our province. The DA will hold him to this.

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