Disorder at testing station
Applicants for learner's and driver's licences at a controversial testing station in Mpumalanga continue to suffer at the hands of people claiming to have connections with traffic officials.
The applicants part with thousands of rands they pay to these people after being convinced their applications would be processed at the Mhala testing station in Thulamahashe, near Bushbuckridge.
"We are expected to pay up to R2500 for both learner's and driver's licences.
"We have no alternative but to pay because if we don't we won't pass the tests," said Given Sibuyi, one of the people who spoke to Sowetan from the traffic station gate on Sunday night.
Hundreds of people were queueing outside the testing station at about 11pm.
Sibuyi said it was the eighth time that he was applying for a learner's licence, but had not been registered because of the high volume of applicants.
He said applicants who arrived with driving school instructors received first preference and did not have to queue.
Another applicant, Padwell Dlamini, told Sowetan that he had also slept at the gate on Sunday night, but claimed that because he did not bribe anyone he had not been allowed into the station by yesterday afternoon.
Sandile Ngomane said he had arrived at the testing station on Sunday morning to be first in the queue yesterday morning, but had still not received any assistance by yesterday morning.
The spokesman for the Bushbuckridge driving schools owners association, Max Seya, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Bushbuckridge Municipality spokesman Zondi Mkhabela acknowledged that there were problems at the station.
He said the congestion was caused by the fact that the Mhala testing station was the only one servicing the entire Bushbuckridge area as well as other applicants from neighbouring regions.