News Item Click to email this article   Click to share on twitter   Click to share on facebook
eNatis: Long queues, short tempers
The new eNatis electronic system that was supposed to improve service delivery has instead left many motorists and would-be drivers hot under the collar.
Thousands of irate city residents waited for hours in vain at various testing centres throughout Tshwane on Tuesday - when the new eNatis electronic system was officially launched - only to be told that the system was offline.

They were all turned away.

The advent of the new electronic licensing, testing and registration system that was supposed to improve service delivery has instead left many motorists and would-be drivers hot under the collar.

The system was intermittently working. When it was, it was slow.

At some stations people wrote their learner's licence test but were unable to be issued with the documents proving they had passed. At others only emergency documents, like the renewal of expired licences, were processed.

Tshwane metro police spokesperson Superintendent Alta Fourie said the "frequent and unexpected failure" of the system was beyond their control. They were unable to say how long the problems would last. "The system is national and there are people working on it," she said.

Fourie said the licensing renewal drive-through facility at Munitoria in Prinsloo Street would be closed until at least Friday.

She said this was because the faulty system resulted in vehicle queues along Prinsloo Street, which could pose a danger and affect traffic flow at the intersection of Prinsloo and Proes streets.

Democratic Alliance MP and transport spokesperson Stuart Farrow appealed to the department of transport not to let the new system affect service delivery.

"The public must be properly informed about how the new system functions in order to avert frustration.

"The successful and smooth implementation of eNatis hinges on proper communication between the relevant stakeholders.

"In case of hiccups, the public has a right to know what the problems are," he said, adding that taxpayers' money had been spent on the system and that they trusted it would operate properly.

Tempers flared at the Mabopane Testing Station when 1000 people burst through the security gates keeping them from the licensing offices.

They were told that the system was down, but would have nothing of it and quickly formed a new queue outside the offices.

Mamsy Rankune said she had been waiting at the testing station since 6am. "I waited in the line for three hours to book my learner's licence test, but they told me that they have technical problems."

She said some people had spent the night at the gates to ensure they got a good position in the line, but were turned away.

"The people are angry, they don't know what to do," said Rankune as she left the testing station.

Cecilia Makhethe said she, too, wanted to book her learner's licence test. "(Transport Minister) Jeff Radebe must do something to solve this crisis. This place is disorganised and mismanaged," she said.

Makhethe said the officials did not explain properly to the crowd what the problem was, which made them more anxious.

About 50 people waited in various queues at the Akasia Testing Station. The few available chairs were used by the elderly as they waited in the line that seemed to move slowly.

Errol Holloway said he had only been in the line for 45 minutes, but it was barely moving. "Apparently there is a problem with the server.

"An official said it could be offline for an hour, a day or a week. We'll just have to wait," he said, holding his driver's licence renewal documents.

A notice up at the Centurion Testing Station stated that the system was offline and the facility was closed for the day.

An official told a group waiting behind a spiked fence that only renewals of expired licences were being dealt with. "The system is very slow. These people get fined if they are not helped," she said.

Yvonne Jansen van Rensburg said she was annoyed.

"I waited in a queue for three hours to find out whether my son could write his learner's licence or not," she said.

Jansen van Rensburg said her son was able to write the test, but officials told her that he would not be issued with the licence, or a temporary one, until the system was fully operational.

It was much the same at the Waltloo Testing Station, where Godfrey Marobane was turned away for the second day in a row. "I have come to change ownership of a car but the system is down.

"They said I should come back on Thursday, but it will be the same. I am angry with this government," he said.

    • This article was originally published on page 2 of Pretoria News on April 18, 2007
Terms & Conditions  �  Privacy Policy  �  Security Policy  �  Site Map

© South African Learners Licence Online 2004-2019 All Rights Reserved.