On the 31st of October 2006, our group decided to take the plunge in visiting the Ross burgh licensing department in the hope of trying to discover some of the problems that people and the officials at the department are faced with. We were also trying to discover possible suggestions or solutions that the applicants and officials may have in mind, in order to resolve the problems that hinders the process, when one tries to obtain a learners license or driver’s license.
On arrival at the grounds, much to our dismay, we were faced with our first problem of trying to get a chance to meet with one the main officials, however after a long period of time had been wasted in waiting for him ; we were told, by him that he was busy and it was suggested that we should interview one of the driving instructors.
Fortunately, the driving instructor that we were told to meet, happened to be in sight and available to give us an interview with him. The name of the instructor was Mr. Neville Meth whom pleasantly answered our questions. We had possessed the following four questions to him:
If the settings of the cameras in vehicles could be reduced?
To which replied that he thinks that there is no need for the cameras to lowered. In fact he thinks that the cameras play an integral part in the new system as it helps to combat corruption with regards to the driver and the instructors. Corruption in the sense that if a learner claims that the instructor attempted to or did try to ask for a bribe whilst in the car, the camera will be able to pick up that and therefore help to decide whether the learner is placing false accusations. The cameras further assists the instructors by picking up the minute faults that at sometime the eye might miss, this helps the instructor when he/ she tries to accumulate the points to decide whether the learner has passed or failed the driver’s test.
Do you feel that there has been enough people employed to ensure “speedy” service in the application sector?
He said that there are not enough people employed in the department, thus resulting in the long lines that one has to endure in order to apply for a date for their tests (learners or driver’s).
Do you feel that the new system is here to stay?
Since August the learner has a choice of either using the driving school car for the test or he/she could use the car provided by the department but has to pay a fee of R500.He also said that as far as he is concerned or to his knowledge the new system is here to stay since it has already made a difference in the number of people that have passed their tests. Although one thinks that there is high rate of failure with regards to the driver’s test, this, however ensures that there are competent drivers out on the road and gives us a sense of safety whilst we are on the road.Statistics: Before and after the implementation of cameras with regards to the number of people passing their driver’s test
In January the number of people that passed their driver’s test was 800, whereas in September the number has been reduced to 300.
Apart from interviewing the instructor, people that were following the lines to apply were also asked about the problems that they thought that posed as a challenge in acquiring a driver’s license. Their responses were:
Cameras intimidate the driver’s to an extent that they become nervous and concentrate thus causing them to make mistakes and therefore fail.
ØCameras should be hidden instead of mounted in direct view of the driver to decrease their nervousness.
Long queues to follow to add to the frustration people “cut” the line. Also theft occurs in the line.
Solution:ØThere should employment of more staff.ØCurrent staff should be supervised in order to make sure that they are working at an effective rate since it is known that some people can be lazy, hence do less work.ØThere should be someone (maybe a security warden) to point people to the right queues and tellers, since some people just stand in the long lines only to find that they are in the wrong queues they to the teller.ØAlso, certain days can be allocated to certain to certain distinct tasks; Mondays and Tuesdays can be days when people just go for their learner’s bookings, tests and drivers tests. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays are set aside for drivers renewals.
ØAn effective suggestion could be that the instructors should be alternated for certain periods of time. This might not necessarily stop corruption but it will help decrease the problem.
Despite all of the problems, fortunately solutions have been suggested. Hopefully these solutions could be brought to the attention of the officials at the department and would thereafter be implemented and taken heed to. Thus ensuring a smoother operation at the licensing department at Rossburgh!
Our group members:1. Jeofrey2. Thabani3. Matalimo4. Karis5. Seetha