Transport minister, Fikile Mbalula, stated that the government is making progress in its battle against corruption in drivers licence testing centres.
Over the last year, the department has worked with municipalities to execute several interventions that are designed to address the root causes of system-wide and operational challenges. Mbalula is trying to make the DLTC system more user-friendly and efficient by introducing various measures including online services and online payments, the roll out of smart enrolment units throughout all DLTCs, and the centralisation of booking slots.
The National Assembly recently passed the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill, which gives us more tools to effectively tackle the intractable challenge of corruption in the vehicle and drivers licensing system. “The regulation of driving schools, through this legislation, will enable closer scrutiny of the conduct of these schools and ensure that uniform standards are applicable to all driving schools.”
Mbalula stated that stricter laws are being introduced to address and resolve cheating by learners and illegal behaviour conducted by instructors. “The prevalence of criminal conduct, ranging from the cloning of vehicles to the fraudulent issuing of driving licences, is a matter of concern that is receiving our most urgent attention,” said Mbalula.
Mbalula mentioned that the Special Investigative Unit has until 31 March 2023 to finalise investigations conducted regarding corruption at DLTCs and collate a complete report. The investigators found that in some cases there was systemic and operational corruption. In some cases, the investigators have found that certain challenges give rise to corruption.
The SIU has since submitted its report, pinpointing several administrative actions that should be implemented by various local authorities. This regulation will help to ensure that testing centres apply uniform standards throughout all testing procedures.
There are other laws that will come from this law, including making traffic rules more enforceable and penalising those who fail to comply.