Pretoria - The Gautrain Management Agency has launched a one-of-a-kind Smart Driving Licence Testing Centre at the Midrand Gautrain station to assist the Gauteng government to eradicate renewal backlog.
Beyond availing its offices in Waterfall to be used as a renewal centre last year, Gautrain has given away portions of its properties in Midrand and Centurion to house the smart testing centres. The Centurion centre will be launched later this month.
Gautrain Management Agency chief executive William Daches yesterday said the initiative dawned on him during a conversation with MEC for Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure Jacob Mamabolo.
Daches said Gautrain had built up a very solid reputation, was a very good brand that was a safe and reliable modern public transport system.
It has also met every possible standard for operational excellence over the past 12 years, and it will be the best place for the centre that will operate weekdays between 8am and 5pm.
“We believe by increasing community tasks services at stations we have a win-win situation,” he said.
Road Traffic Management Corporation chief executive Makhosini Msibi said the operational method at the smart centres mitigated previous problems or corruption and fraud.
This was achieved by doing away with the dual-persons process whereby one person did everything, from eye tests to renewal and payments. All payments would be electronic.
Msibi said the system would not allow people to arrive without an appointment, eliminating third parties who promised people slots and skipping queues in exchange for a bribe.
There was also a law enforcement official watching all the desks, working as the centre manager to mitigate against fraud and corruption.
Mamabolo said this was a state-of-the-art centre that would serve as a pilot and benchmark before being expanded to other areas in Gauteng.
“This is going to help us provide service to the people. We are trying to solve the problem where our people are frustrated by the few number of testing centres that are available and definitely not enough to service the people of this fast growing province.
“Gautrain is a point of mass movement. People pass here. They park their cars here. The clients of the department and the clients of testing centres are right here every day. But it is not only them because even members of the public can walk in because Gautrain is accessible. We are bringing service into a transport node to make it easy for the people.”
Mamabolo said the initiative was an enabler to make possible other initiatives acknowledged as important in transport, especially because transport played a critical role in the economy, and people need driving licences to be able to move and move goods.