After months of frustration, I have finally booked a slot through the online eNatis system to renew my driver’s licence card.
The build up to this online booking was filled with multiple failed attempts – a problem which many Gauteng motorists are facing.
If you are a Gauteng resident who needs to renew their driver’s licence, you must use the eNatis online booking system.
This system has been plagued with problems since inception, however, and drivers are not able to book a renewal appointment.
Tests by TopAuto revealed that when going online to book a renewal appointment, users are greeted by a “0 slots available” message across all driving licence testing centres in the province.
This lack of open slots was so severe in March that the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) was facing strike action from driving schools in the province as a result.
Allegations that individuals and organisations are manipulating the system and selling slots have also been raised, and in May it was revealed that companies – with teams of people working for them – are booking up driver’s licence renewal slots and selling them.
Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Jacob Mamabolo has stated a forensic investigations company has been appointed to investigate issues with the booking system.
“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,” said Mamabolo.
How I booked
As a law-abiding citizen, I was determined to book my licence renewal online without using one of the abovementioned “booking” companies, or by slipping a couple hundred rand to an employee at a testing centre – which I was told would do the job.
I continued to try to book online, without success, until a friend stated he had managed to book his driver’s licence renewal online using a “multi-tab” approach.
When booking slots were released for driver’s licence card renewals on the eNatis platform, which takes place at 12:00 and 16:00 each day, my friend said he would open multiple browser tabs and sign into his eNatis profile with all of them.
As soon as the booking slots opened, he then went through the registration and booking process in each browser tab – and would select different times slots across multiple testing centres.
He then hit submit for all of them, and waited.
On the eNatis website, it would always show that his registration attempts had failed or timed out.
However, after a couple days of using this method, he received an email from the eNatis system – he had booked a time and date for his licence renewal.
I immediately tried these tactics at 16:00 the next day, and it worked.
Opening multiple browser tabs and signing into my eNatis profile a few minutes before 16:00 was the first step.
Once the clock hit 16:00, it was a scramble to click on the “Next” button in all the windows to take me to the testing centre selection, and then the time and date slots.
After selecting several dates and times, and not receiving a confirmation on the website for any of them, I received an email.
It was from a [email protected] email address and it stated I had reserved a slot to renew my driver’s licence the following week.
It detailed what I needed to take with me to the centre and that the renewal will cost R228.
The next step is to go to the testing centre and get it done – which means I am not out of the woods yet.