Companies, with teams of people working for them, are booking up driver’s licence renewal slots online – making it essentially impossible for individuals to make a booking.
This is according to a report by Rapport.
The publication investigated the problems Gauteng residents were having with booking driver’s licence renewals online, and discovered that companies are charging individuals to book a slot on their behalf.
These companies are booking multiple slots at once for their clients, taking up availabilities as soon as they are available online.
Why you need to book online
If you are a Gauteng resident who wants to renew their driver’s licence, you are required to use the Natis online booking system.
The online system allows users to book a slot at a local driving licence testing centre, enter their personal details, and visit the chosen centre for an eye test – or with the results of a recent eye test – to renew their licence.
Complaints about the online platform never having available booking slots have streamed in in recent months, however, and the problem is so severe that the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) recently said it was facing strike action from driving schools as a result.
The National Driving School Association of South Africa told 702 that it wants the online system scrapped, as it has “failed to work”.
The RTMC added that it has received “numerous enquiries from concerned members of the public” who are unable to book a slot to renew their driver’s licence.
TopAuto tested the online system and found it was essentially impossible to book a date to renew a driver’s licence.
Testing in early May revealed that there were over 40 licence centres on the system – and every single one showed “0” slots available for a booking.
Clicking on a licence centre took us to a calendar menu to select a date – but every date on the calendar was blanked out and nothing could be chosen.
Jacob Mamabolo, Gauteng MEC for Public Transport, has also admitted to problems with the system – and said it was facing severe challenges.
Mamabolo stated that corrupt government officials who “hijack the system” are partly to blame for the booking challenges motorists are facing.