The Democratic Alliance welcomes the recent announcement by Transport MEC, Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe that her Department will be easing the burden on motorists, by allowing them to renew their motor vehicle licences from wherever they are in the province.
However, the MEC has failed to address the most pressing concerns of the people, which is not where they can register, but the red tape and time it takes to complete the transaction.
The DA is calling on the MEC to review the current licensing services across the province, which are plagued with regular downtime. This puts additional strain on the general public, many of whom have queued for hours, only to be turned away at the last minute because the system is offline, or because they do not have all the necessary documentation.
Hours standing in a queue waiting to renew your license, is hours out of work, where you could be actively contributing to the provincial economy.
In the Western Cape, individuals can renew their vehicle licenses online, no queuing required, and the renewed license is delivered directly to their door. Why can’t the Eastern Cape implement such a system?
MEC Tikana-Gxothiwe must also re-evaluate the system to deal with lost vehicle documentation. This function was taken away from local authorities such as the post offices, and now resides at provincial level only.
A simple replacement license incurs a charge of R650 and can take up to six weeks for the new papers to be issued.
In other provinces, such as the Western Cape, getting replacement licenses issued is a same day service, at a minimal cost of around R70.
I will be writing to MEC Tikana-Gothiwe, to request that she reviews the licensing system and tasks her Department with taking proactive steps to reduce the downtime and red tape at licencing centres. I will also be requesting her to review the lost documentation processes and allow this service to be fulfilled by local authorities.
It is not government’s job to meet people halfway, but to deliver service to the people in the best way possible.
The Democratic Alliance will continue to fight to reduce the barriers to accessing services in this province.