South Africa: The Hell of Pointless Bureaucracy – My Hostile Trip Into Driving Licence Renewal Purgatory

The only thing that really works at the Sandton Licensing and Testing Department is the queues. In an attempt to get a new driving licence for myself and register my new car, I discovered the joys of dealing with what can only be described as institutionalised dysfunction.

First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.

After Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula trumpeted the “request-a-slot” initiative, I duly requested a slot and was sent a date and time for 21 September. Armed with all the paperwork and three credit cards – clearly in an effort to stop corruption – all I needed to do was submit my driving licence application, register some fingerprints and pay.

The first part of the process was easy. It took 15 minutes to queue, sit in front of a complex machine, which encased a laptop, fingerprint reader, eye-test goggles and a camera. The man who assisted me was helpful – we laughed when he told me the machines kept breaking down – and off I went to pay.

And entered the wasteful bureaucracy where hostile civil servants treat their customers with not only disdain but an almost constant cold-shoulder attitude whenever you asked any kind of…


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Author : Daily Maverick

Publish date : 2021-10-01 09:38:15

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