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Logjams at Gauteng licensing centres - Randburg - Drivers and students waited for hours to renew their licences and book tests at the Randburg testing station on Wednesday.

Johannesburg metro police spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said the Randburg station had been overcrowded for the past six weeks.

“People have been coming in from Mpumalanga, North West and as far as Limpopo to get their things in order,” he said.

Normal working hours at the station were from 7.30am to 3.30pm, but the staff had been working from 7am to 6pm.

“Licensing centres in those provinces don't work over the festive period, so people flock to Gauteng,” Minnaar said.

Most people were on leave and, therefore, had time to go to the testing centres and do what they had to do before going back to work and school.

“That's why there is such a delay, everybody is coming at the same time to the same stations,” he said.

Minnaar said people, especially those who came in from Mpumalanga and Limpopo, should use other centres in the province.

The Boksburg, Germiston, Benoni and Brakpan centres opened on Monday, so “much of the pressure will be relieved”.

Complaints about the testing stations being offline were also a concern for people who had made their way to certain stations, but were turned away.

Those who tried to arrange their documents at Randburg found themselves waiting in queues for hours. Most people were there to renew their licences, book for a learner's licence or book a driving test.

Thuli Langa arrived at the centre before 8am, but the station only opened after 8am instead of at 7.30am and she was still waiting in line at 10.30am.

“We have been waiting here forever,” she said, “and the queue came to a standstill at some point.”

Minnaar said the Marlboro station was one of those that were offline.

“Marlboro is being renovated to improve services. It started late last year, so it has affected services,” he said.


Service also slowed to a snail's pace at Centurion, Waltloo, and Midrand this week.

While Centurion opens at 8am, people from around Tshwane were there by 6am hoping they would be helped. But six hours later they were still waiting in a queue outside.

Hildemarie Wiggill said she had been waiting in the queue from 7.15am to apply for her learner's licence test. “No one has communicated with us since we got here this morning,” she said. “They take groups of 15 people per hour or so.

“I didn't think it would be this bad; I even finished reading the book I brought along in case there was a bit of a delay, but it has gone beyond that now.”

Neil November said he too arrived at the centre in the morning and tried elsewhere but it was worse.

“I tried going to Waltloo in the hope that they would have better service, but when I arrived there around 8.45, they had already cut the line for the day, so I came back here and it still hasn't moved the slightest.

“I've travelled more than 100km today just trying to find a place to help my wife renew her licence.”

Some people complained about the attitude of staff who apparently angrily told a disabled client to go to the back of the line to wait.

Susan van Niekerk said most people waiting outside would have understood if somebody had at least communicated with them what was causing the delay.

“We've been sitting here with not so much as a word from them,” she said. “And when a staff member did come out, it was shocking to see them turning away a disabled lady quite rudely to the back of the line.”

Tshwane Metro Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said the department did try to inform people that they could only assist a certain number due to resources available to them.

“Most people who come in have to be tested with their application and each one takes 10 minutes or more. We try to assist about 300 people a day but we can only do so much with six machines per station,” he said. “We understand that some people are on leave at the moment, and we are pushing as best we can. We know of people who start queuing very early and we often advise others to leave because we won't be able to assist them,” said Mahamba.

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011 672 3360
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