Traffic officials and driving schools have blamed nerves, lack of preparation and strict guidelines for the low pass rate among driver's licence applicants in the Western Cape.
Their comments come after Transport Minister Jeff Radebe announced in Parliament a dismal pass rate for the country, which he said was mainly due to applicants not being adequately prepared for the test.
Two-thirds of those who apply for their driver's licence test nationally fail, leaving the pass rate at 39 percent.
The Western Cape's pass rate is 35.13 percent while applicants in Gauteng have been the most successful with a pass rate of 46.58 percent. The poorest pass rate is in the Free State which is 31.23 percent.
The spokesperson for Traffic Services in the province, Searle Johannes, said poor training and lack of preparation were the main reasons for the low pass rate in the province.
Johannes said applicants were often in the driver's seat of their test vehicle for the first time when doing the test.
"The test has rigid guidelines against which the applicant is assessed. These guidelines are provided by the national department of transport and are applicable nationally," he said.
Aubrey Richter, owner of Aubrey's Driving School, based in Athlone, said he "always wanted to know why the person failed".
He said that "if the person knocked a pole then they are not competent" but sometimes they failed due to petty things like taking one minute too long in the yard.
- This article was originally published on page 3 of Cape Argus on July 19, 2007