Minister Mbalula must urgently come up with a plan to turn transport around

Opinion by FF Plus

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Minister Mbalula must urgently come up with a plan to turn transport around
Minister Mbalula must urgently come up with a plan to turn transport around

The newly appointed Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, will urgently have to come up with a plan to turn the Department of Transport around as it is facing several serious problems.

The high incidence of road accidents across the country is unacceptable. The matter must be thoroughly investigated, starting with the issuing of roadworthy certificates and motor vehicle licences so as to keep unroadworthy vehicles off our roads.

The problem does not only lie with the drivers of motor vehicles, thus, there are various aspects within the Department itself that must also be investigated.

Among other things, how the eNaTIs system processes applications for driver’s licence appointments must be investigated as the system makes it very difficult for road users to make an appointment for a driver’s licence test. The system is overloaded with applications for appointments and it can clearly not meet the high demand.

The FF Plus wants to see that the system where one can make an appointment at the relevant municipal testing centre is implemented once again so that everyone is not dependent on the online system.

Roadworthy testing centres under private, provincial and municipal control must regularly be inspected by competent and trained inspectors to ensure that certificates are not issued for vehicles that have not been properly tested (or that have not even been at the testing centre). Additionally, stricter measures must be implemented to punish offenders.

Further measures can be put in place so that a motor vehicle licensing office can, on receiving a roadworthy certificate, request the testing centre that issued the certificate to provide photo material as proof that the relevant vehicle was indeed at the testing centre. This can help combat the issuing of false roadworthy certificates.

At licensing offices, the heads and their supporting senior staff must also audit application documents received and processed by officers on a regular basis to ensure that all the required documents were indeed received by the officer and in cases where the required documentation is lacking, suitable disciplinary action must be taken against the officer seeing as such incidents constitute a violation of the National Road Traffic Act.

The FF Plus also wants to see that action is taken against state institutions, private companies and members of the taxi industry that are in contempt of the National Road Traffic Act as their public drivers permits are not renewed annually and often heavy vehicles are not put through the roadworthy test when their licences are renewed every year.

In many cases, the same number plates and licence discs are used for more than one vehicle. It even happens that government vehicles’ licences are not up to date.

For the sake of all the law-abiding citizens in South Africa, the FF Plus will put pressure on the Department of Transport to ensure that everyone who uses our country’s roads are subject to the law and that the law is justly enforced.

Read the original article in Afrikaans by Philip van Staden on FF Plus

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