Picture: Bonile Bam

The City of Cape Town wants unemployed people to be able to drive – and is planning to start a programme to provide free driver’s licence training to the unemployed.

This followed a request from the council’s safety and security portfolio committee that sub-councils pay for unemployed residents to take learner’s and driver’s licence lessons and testing.

Should the council approve the move, the city’s department of social development would appoint a driving school to provide the training and testing of beneficiaries.

The city’s traffic services department would make dates available for learners’ and drivers’ test bookings. The cost of the bookings would be paid by the driving school, which will bill the city for services rendered.

Keith Miller, the city’s sub-councils and ward committees manager, said Sub-council 24 had allocated R150 000 per ward for wards 95, 96, 97 and 98 in the Khayelitsha area.

“As far as can be determined, none of the other subcouncils have allocated funding for this purpose yet,” said Miller.


Responding to questions from the Cape Times, the city’s spokeswoman Kylie Hatton said: “At this point, the City of Cape Town is unable to provide specific information as to who will benefit from this project, and which service providers will be used, because it is still in its conceptual stage.”

The provincial departments of community safety, and traffic have, in the last two years, provided more than 3000 young people in the Western Cape with free learner’s licence training courses.

Mireille Wenger, head of the community safety department, said 60 courses had been presented across the province in the 2011/12 financial year. Wenger said: “We focus on areas in most need such as Kayamandi, Ravensmead, Atlantis, Manenberg, Nyanga and Delft, etc.”

Wenger said the courses consist of tuition about road signs, road rules, motor vehicle controls, and a mock test.

“The mock test takes the form of revision exercises and we expose the learners to the particular style of questioning, for example multiple choice questions, and simulate exam conditions by giving (the learners) an hour to complete the test, as is the case with the official test at the local traffic department. We also explain the scoring,” she said

The department, however, does not pay for the actual licence testing, as learners are responsible for arranging their own learner’s licence tests.

“What we do do, is give youth (high school learners of driving age and unemployed youth) courses on the learner’s licence so that they are better equipped to write the test and have a better chance of succeeding,” she said. -Cape Times