Chaos at most traffic stations

Boitumelo Tshehle, Riot Hlatshwayo, Frank Maponya

Boitumelo Tshehle, Riot Hlatshwayo, Frank Maponya

Motorists in North West want the new electronic national traffic information system scrapped because the system failed again yesterday.

Hundreds of learner's and driver's licence applicants slept outside the Mhala traffic station in Mpumalanga on Monday night to beat the queue yesterday. But the system malfunctioned yet again.

Polokwane traffic department said its system had also been affected by the eNatis upgrading.

Municipal spokesman, Simon Mokoatedi, said the system went down on Monday and this had hampered services.

Mokoatedi said: "There is nothing we can do. We are waiting for the Transport Department to tell us when to start the operation. As of now, we are grounded."

In Mafikeng, North West, people started queuing at around 5am. Most of them went home without being helped.

The situation turned ugly at 8am when the offices opened. Many applicants forced their way into the offices.

Later, they were told that only 310 people would be registered and that the rest would have to make appointments for another day.

Lerato Malges, 26, from Kuruman said she was disappointed.

"I prefer the old system because it this one is not working," she said.

Provincial transport department spokesman, Matshube Mfoloe, said it was a nationwide problem.

"I am as curious as everyone else to hear what Minister Jeff Radebe will say. The problem is not here at our office. It is at the Midrand centre. I can't comment further," Mfoloe said.

The Mhala traffic department has been experiencing the same problem since Monday.

Joshua Nkosi of Tsuvulani village said: "We slept on the ground in front of the traffic station to be the first to make our applications in the morning, and were disappointed when we discovered the station was not functioning."

President of Mpumalanga driving schools owners association, Bukulela Samson Ndlovu, said the problem of people sleeping outside the traffic station would continue for a long time.

"The station caters to more than the required number of people and, unless three more stations are opened, people will sleep here in their hundreds. I wonder if Minister Radebe's wife would leave her cushioned bed to sleep at the gates of a traffic station for a license," said Ndlovu.

Bushbuckridge municipal spokesman, Zondi Mkhabela, also said the problem was nationwide.

"We appeal to clients to bear with us because we are praying that eNatis will cope with the workload," said Mkhabela.

Bushbuckridge executive mayor, Milton Morema, said he had met Mpumalanga transport MEC, David Mabuza, about the possibility of opening additional traffic stations.

Yesterday, the Polokwane traffic testing station was empty. Some traffic officers said they were insulted by people who applied for licenses or who wanted to register their vehicles.

Limpopo's department of roads and transport said yesterday some stations were working, though slowly, since the eNatis upgrading.

Boikie Tsedu, department spokesman, said the Louis Trichardt office was functioning well, but that other stations in the province were at a slow pace.