Clarity on tardy license office

LEPHALALE — Complaints regarding the license office at the Lephalale Local Municipality are everywhere on social media and Mogol Post was swarmed with complaints and questions. Some of the complaints/questions include that people have to wait weeks/months to get their license cards, because the municipality does not have cards available. There are no forms available for neither car nor driver’s license renewals.

On Wednesday 14 November, there were no cashiers in the licensing office – all of them were at a SAMWU meeting. How can there be no staff in the office? Is there no contingency plan?

What is the excuse for having no application forms to complete as well as for not having license cards available?

Julius Tefo, Acting Executive Manager Community Services, who is among others responsible for traffic control and licensing authority, gave some clarity.

He said that while the license office only processes applications for driving license cards, it does not print them. Driving license cards are printed by the Driving License Card Account (DLCA) which is the agency of the Department of Transport. The information that Tefo got from DLCA is that there was a system upgrade and labour dispute which resulted in a backlog in printing of driving license cards.

“We were informed that the upgrading of the system has been concluded and the labour dispute has been resolved. The DLCA is currently operating around the clock to address the backlog in printing of driving license cards. Following the upgrading of their system, applicants can now query the status of their application by simply sending an SMS of their ID numbers to 33214 instead of personally visiting their license offices.

“There was a delay in the delivery of face value forms for printing of motor vehicle licenses and temporary driving licenses to the Department of Transport which resulted in the Municipality being unable to issue out license discs and temporary licenses to clients for three days. The forms have since been delivered and the situation at our license office is back to normal,” he explained.

Regarding the fact that there were no cashiers in the license office on 14 November Tefo said: “In terms of the Organisational Right Agreement all municipal employees have got a right to hold a workplace meeting during working hours and such right can under no circumstances be denied. This right is further supported by the Labour Relations Act. Every time there is such a meeting Notices are put up all over the civic centre to inform everyone.

“It must also be noted that employees who attended the above-mentioned meeting worked an additional two hours to ensure that all clients were assisted. Offices closed at 17:00,” Tefo concluded.

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