The new online system may be the hero we need…
A couple of months ago, we did an article on a new online licence renewal booking system – provided by The Online Company. The system was rolled out for testing in four licensing centres in Pretoria – in Akasia, Waltloo, Centurion and Bronkhorstspruit – and though getting off to a bit of a rocky start, the system has enjoyed a fair amount of success.
The rollout of the online booking system had been marred by break-ins and other incidents at the Tshwane testing centres. Thieves broke into the Centurion and Waltloo service centres back in 2017, stealing cameras, computers and live capture systems. In another incident, thieves assaulted security personnel and officials at Waltloo, and then made off with an undisclosed sum of money. The SAPS and Metro Police also thwarted an attempted burglary at the Akasia centre, arresting two suspects.
As a result, Waltloo and Centurion could not offer any licence renewals for extended periods of time, and people spent hours in the queues. Many were turned away and did not receive any service at all.
Luckily, the new online system may be the hero we need. Earlier this week, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) announced plans to launch an online platform across the entire South Africa.
So, the nightmare of standing in long, slow queues may soon be over.
The system is currently only in use at the aforementioned licencing centres, as well as Johannesburg centres in Langlaagte and Randburg.
To use it, you have to register an account on The Online Company website. Bear in mind that Tshwane and Johannesburg have completely different municipalities, so you’ll have to create different profiles for whichever centre you prefer.
Provide your name, contact details, and ID number. Once the account has been created, you select a participating service centre for your licence renewal, and then an available appointment slot. Appointments are booked at 30-minute intervals.
You will then receive a receipt of the appointment via email – and an email the day before the appointment to remind you.
The staff at the licencing centres are furnished with a list of all appointments made online. So, instead of spending unnecessary time standing in this queue and then that queue and then another queue, you simply walk in and provide your name and receipt to the relevant person.
That person will then direct you to a separate section created especially for online bookings. Collect and complete the relevant documents, get your fingerprints taken and undergo your eye examination. Alternatively, you could bring your own optometrist certificate along with you.
When you have the test results, you pay for your renewal with the cashiers.
The entire process is designed to take about half an hour – which is about seven hundred hours less than everybody else.
According to the RTMC, we can expect an online platform – with participating licence centres across the entire country – toward the end of this month.
“The solution will benefit the public by promoting efficient service delivery, removing barriers to access, eliminating fraud and corruption, and optimising business operations.”
Easing the process of applying for and renewing vehicle driving licences is a long-overdue initiative. The booking platform will reportedly support bookings for learner’s and driver’s licence tests, as well as driver’s licence renewals. All in under 10 minutes, from the comfort of your home.
“The current process requires applicants to queue for between 140-180 minutes at a testing station. This process is also fraught with corruption, as officials at the licensing centres have an incentive to withhold available bookings for lucrative payments from willing applicants.”
For further information, the RTMC issued a media statement last week.
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