The Department of Transport and Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) faces a significant backlog in driver licenses, with an estimated 1.3 million expired licenses across the country as of August.
To address this problem, RTMC chief executive, Makhosini Msibi says that the authority is working on several short-term interventions that will significantly boost license centre capacity around the country.
This will include additional staff as well as longer operating hours and several technology-based interventions that include an electronic eye-testing interface.
This system will allow medical professionals to submit eyes tests and other important medical documents online directly into the department’s systems.
Msibi said that the new system would also help to stop corruption at license centres. He added that the departments fingerprinting systems have also been integrated with the Home Affairs database, which would help reduce the required number of visits to the license centres. He said that together, these interventions would increase renewal capacity by about 50%.
Transport minister, Fikile Mbalula has also committed to a significant IT and tecch overhaul at driving license testing centres across South Africa to reduce wait times. In a written parliamentary Q&A, he said that this would include replacing live capture units with “smart enrolment units” throughout the country.
These units are used for eye-testing and other functions when renewing or applying for a driver licens in South Africa. Mbalula said that the project would first commence in Gauteng and be incorporated into the online booking system.
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