Mxolisi Kaunda, the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, yesterday visited the Rossburgh Testing Station.    
Picture: Leon Lestrade  African News Agency (ANA)
Mxolisi Kaunda, the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, yesterday visited the Rossburgh Testing Station. Picture: Leon Lestrade African News Agency (ANA)
Mxolisi Kaunda, the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, yesterday visited the Rossburgh Testing Station.    
Picture: Leon Lestrade  African News Agency (ANA)
Mxolisi Kaunda, the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, yesterday visited the Rossburgh Testing Station. Picture: Leon Lestrade African News Agency (ANA)
Mxolisi Kaunda, the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, yesterday visited the Rossburgh Testing Station.    
Picture: Leon Lestrade  African News Agency (ANA)
Mxolisi Kaunda, the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, yesterday visited the Rossburgh Testing Station. Picture: Leon Lestrade African News Agency (ANA)
Mxolisi Kaunda, the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, yesterday visited the Rossburgh Testing Station.    
Picture: Leon Lestrade  African News Agency (ANA)
Mxolisi Kaunda, the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, yesterday visited the Rossburgh Testing Station. Picture: Leon Lestrade African News Agency (ANA)
Durban - A stern warning has been issued to crooked transport officials who take bribes that the Department of Transport has a number of intelligence-driven operations under way to catch them red-handed.

KwaZulu-Natal Transport MEC Mxolisi Kaunda said those “dirty officials” were criminals in his eyes and that the department was working to root them out.

Speaking on the sidelines of an impromptu visit to Rossburgh Testing Station yesterday, Kaunda said: “We have already arrested some of them and closed down two offices.”

He also called on citizens to stop paying bribes and to report officials who asked for them.

“Bribery and corruption can only be defeated with collaboration between the government and citizens,” he said.

Kaunda, who was joined by Transport’s head of department Sibusiso Gumbi, spoke to motorists who were in the queue for licence renewals and professional driver permit applications.

Some said there had been in the queue from 8am, and by 1pm were still waiting to be served.

While Kaunda interacted with the people in the queue, the station’s system crashed.

Simi Sheoraton, 51, said she had arrived at the centre just after 9.30am to apply for a licence renewal.

“I’m actually glad that the MEC came along to inspect how the testing station is functioning.

“We sit in one queue and when we finish here, we sit in another queue waiting for the cashiers’ office,” she said.

Another frustrated motorist, Sarah Jones, 37, said she had been to the Rossburgh station twice this week as the system had been offline on Tuesday.

She said she believed the elderly should be served first instead of having to wait in the queues.

“If we can’t treat our elders well then how can we expect the youth to treat them with respect?” she asked.

“There are many issues such as poor service delivery, the lengthy period of time we sit in queues and so on, that I have raised with the MEC.”

Kaunda promised those who were in the queue when the system crashed that their forms would be signed and marked for priority, so that the next time they visited the station they would not have to sit in queues.

He added that the department was working on a turnaround strategy where pensioners and disabled people would be served first.

He said they were also looking into introducing mobile services that people could access without visiting the stations directly.

“You are our employers. You pay us every month to make sure you get the service you deserve. The issues you have raised will be addressed.

“This is not a promise, this is a commitment,” Kaunda said.

Kaunda added that when he visited the centre late last year, people had complained about ablution facilities and poor signage, “but since the upgrades of the infrastructure, we have been able to address those challenges.”

The testing station’s infrastructure had to be upgraded after its equipment was damaged during the recent floods in Durban.

The Mercury