Heartbreak at traffic station

Elijar Mushiana

Scores of people have been queueing from as early as midnight onwards to get assistance at the Sibasa traffic testing station in Limpopo.

A Sowetan investigation has found that people in the area went to queue at the station for long hours from early morning to get help.

This is despite the fact that the station only opens at 8am on weekdays. People in the area have to go without sleep so as to arrive early at the station to get help.

This writer braved the chilly weather to witness the hardships people have to endure. People had arrived at the station from very early in the morning.

A number of those interviewed confirmed having woken up as early as midnight in order to be first in the queue.

They went there for various purposes. Some wanted to renew their drivers' licenses and others wanted to convert their licences to the card type. Others said they wanted to apply for learners' and drivers' licences.

They said they had registered their names on a list at the station's security gate from midnight. They apparently received assistance based on their position on the list.

Despite waking up in the dead of night, they still complained that the service was very slow.

An officer acknowledged that the station had a serious shortage of personnel and offices, and that their computers were slow.

Thizwilondi Mmbengeni told Sowetan he had arrived as early as 3.30am and registered his name on the security visitors' book. He had come to renew his driver's license.

Nndwamato Tshiila, the municipality's spokesman, however, disputed this and said their traffic station was delivering the best service.

"We are aware that there are people who are bent on denting the good image of our station. We challenge them to come forward and provide proof," he said.

When Sowetan showed him pictures taken at the station to confirm that the allegations were true, Tshiila said they would look into the matter and rectify any mistakes.