Relief as Gauteng reopens driver’s licence testing centres
Pretoria - The Gauteng provincial government has started a phased reopening of driver’s licence testing centres across the province, following their closure due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown regulations.
MEC for public transport and roads infrastructure Jacob Mamabolo on Wednesday expressed satisfaction with measures put in place to protect employees and clients against possible exposure to Covid-19 and other health risks.
Mamabolo commended Gauteng municipalities and the Road Traffic Management Corporation for the instrumental role they played in working with his department on the risk adjusted approach to the reopening of the testing centres.
"With the gradual reopening of the testing centres, it is important for members of the public to note that priority will be given to applicants who have confirmed bookings and that there will be no walk-ins. Only applicants with valid online booking reference numbers will be allowed onto the premises of centres.
"This is another measure we have put in place to ensure that customers are serviced while adhering to social distancing protocols. Customers visiting our centres are also kindly requested to wear masks covering the mouth and nose - #NoMaskNoEntry.”
Mamabolo cautioned Gauteng residents to avoid flooding the driver’s licence testing centres as all driver's licences, learner's licences, motor vehicle licence discs, temporary driver's licenses, temporary permits, roadworthy certificates and professional driver's permits that expired during the lockdown period would be deemed valid and have been extended for 90 days from 1 June.
"It is important to also note that over 100 SA Post Offices are open for motor vehicle license disc renewal across the province," Mamabolo said.
Testing centres are open at Sandton in Johannesburg, Akasia, Bronkhorstspruit, and Centurion in Pretoria. Numerous driving schools have resumed lessons across Pretoria, but some instructors have complained about the massive losses of revenue during the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.
First Stop Driving School’s managing director Knowledge Kapeta told African News Agency that the resumption of business at driver’s testing centres was welcome news but the flow of customers was constrained because of economic hardships.
“In this level 3 of the lockdown, we see that things are starting to improve now. Clients are enquiring about lessons and they promise to come in the near future as they are currently financially constrained,” Kapeta said.
“Our business was affected in many ways during the lockdown. When the driver’s licence testing centres are closed, everything ceases to function for us. The restrictions on people’s movement in levels 5 and 4 meant people could not come to us and do their driving lessons."
Several motor vehicle registering authorities (MVRA) have also resumed services in Gauteng, while others are set to open gradually from next week.
African News Agency (ANA)