The long queue at the Centurion Licensing Department. Picture: Jacques Naude / ANA
Pretoria - There was an urgent need to overhaul all licensing centres in the metro to eradicate long queues, ineffective staff and bribes, motorists said on Thursday.

Those who went to the Centurion Licensing Centre in Nellmapius Drive said they were tired of having to hop across the entire city looking for a functioning facility.

They said services at all centres had been compromised.

A resident, who asked not to be named, said she had come to the centre for the second time and still battled to get service. She had already been to the Marlboro centre in Joburg, but could not be helped as there were no papers at the time. She said upon her return to the same centre on Monday, she was told they had no cartridges.

“We need to be honest, all licensing centres in this city need a revamp as there are just too many problems depriving people of service,” she said.

Marco Francis said he had been waiting for a long time in the queue at the Centurion Licensing Department. Picture: Jacques Naude / ANA

Centurion resident Marco Francis said he was frustrated that he had to wait for more than five hours to renew his driving licence.

Francis said he had received a number from the office, but it meant nothing as the queue was not even moving.

He said at 12 noon: “They haven’t told us anything since we arrived at 6am. I even had to take the initiative to inform people at the back of the line that they might not get assisted.”

Francis said another problem was that car guards offered to wait for other people as early as 5am.

He said sometimes they approached people as they parked their cars and offered to move them up quicker in the queue if they paid between R200 and R400. “I was number 27 in the queue when I got here and when they handed me my form I was number 38 as others were willing to pay the bribe. People waste a whole day here and still don't get the help they need because they close at 3pm,” Francis said.

Tshwane Metro Police director of licensing, Dr Johan Kok, said the allegation of bribes were mentioned by one complainant.

Kok said no formal complaint had been received, but should the allegations become frequent, management would act.

He said: “We request the public to be our partners in eradicating this practice. If possible, also assist in obtaining tangible evidence to take these incidents beyond rumours only.”

Kok said delays at the centre discovered shortly after opening their doors on Thursday were due to a “connection problem” on two of the three operational electronic eye test units.

As a result, the centre had to try to help many people with only one machine, he said.

“The availability of only three operational eye test units is directly linked to the break-in a few weeks ago.

"But a call was immediately logged to the provincial government for assistance,” he said.

Kok said they weren't able to announce when new equipment would be delivered.

He said: “Long queues are a reality at centres all over Gauteng. (Many) cut queues during the day resulting in the migration to available or operational centres."

Pretoria News