TAKING ACTION IN TSHWANE: MEC Ismail Vadi (inset) has vowed to fix the awful service at Centurion's Driver Testing Centre after a crash visit showed just how bad it was. Image: Tshwane.gov.za
TSHWANE, Gauteng - Ismail Vadi, Gauteng MEC for roads and transport, visited the Centurion Driver Testing Centre in Tshwane on Thursday (Jan 22) after dozens of complaints about the place.
"Totally unacceptable!" was how Vadi described the situation. "Urgent intervention is needed. It is clear there’s a complete breakdown in management at this centre, compounded by a staff shortage. The main problem was stagnant queues is the Live Capturing Units."
Vadi vowed to return to follow up and promised to take up the matter with City of Tshwane functionaries.
LONG QUEUES, POOR SERVICE
Wheels24 asked whether readers experienced poor service at the Centurion test centre:
Yusuf Hoosen said: “The manager scolded me for not bringing a copy of my ID and refused to assist me. My wife and four kids were with me. Such a rude person and the centre’s policy is that they won’t create photocopies of your ID, you have to go outside and get ripped off to make a copy.”
Janine Chantson said: “In 2014, I waited four hours in the queue to apply for te renewal of my driver's license. Weeks later, I waited for a further two hours just to collect the new license card!”
‘TYPICAL OF ALL PUBLIC SERVICES’
Suzelle Els said: “I went to apply for my new driver’s license on Dec 17 2014, since the old one expires in January 2015. My mother and I arrived at 7am that morning and we only got out of there at 1pm. People were standing in the rain, rubbish was overflowing out of the dustbins outside, with the cleaning staff walking straight past it without doing anything about it.
“Eventually I got inside and there were only two eye testing cubicles with testers. While paying, only three of nine counters were manned. Nobody knows what’s going on or where to send customers.
“There was one couple who was sent back and forth between two staff members almost four times, and that was when this customer blew his lid! Even the collections, which is supposed to be a quick process, had queues outside for hours. Only at about 11am that morning did the queue start to move at a quick rate.
“No really, this is so typical of ALL the public services in our country. They think they are doing the public a hell of a favour for being there, and then they more often than not, give you attitude as well. Nowhere in the world, will service like this be acceptable. It is shocking!”
‘FACILITY FROM HELL’
Poobie Pillay said: “My wife arrived at the testing centre at 7am recently to book a learners test for my son. After reaching the building proper around 2pm, she as well as numerous others were verbally abused by the person managing access. They were threatened, screamed at, told that staff were on a prayer break, and finally managed to secure a booking and leave at 4.30pm.
“This was a day of hell for both my wife and son, who had to endure the abuse of the person controlling access, and they were told by other customers not to retaliate as he would send them to the back of the queue. Others in line told of having to wait from 6am for two days in a row before having to give up and leave by midday as they needed to get to work. A friend stood in line from 6.30am to 3pm to renew her drivers licence at the same facility from hell.”
CORRUPTION AT THE CENTRE
Anonymous said: “What is also happening at Centurion, is that there are people walking around in the parking areas and soliciting the public to pay them a bribe to get ahead of the queue.
“This effectively has the result that honest people sit there all day, while this booming business goes on. These men obviously pay someone on the inside or the guards to be able to do this. Business for them is excellent, because as the word spreads, the public pay the bribe, as they cannot afford to sit there for hours. This practice should be eradicated.
“This centre is a can of worms and it has been for many years. Why does Vadi only visit now? Too little too late.”
COURT DATE PENDING
Kobus Swart said: "My driver’s license renewal was refused at Centurion, due to an outstanding fine. I only managed to reach the head of the queue after three attempts of about three hours each.
“The outstanding traffic fine refers to an alternate fine. The main fine was paid but AARTO insists that the alternate be paid as well, no replies to e-mails in appellate attempt received. I have approached attorneys to approach court for an order to remedy the situation, since my license has now expired. I am awaiting the court date.”