Traffic department hooligan of year

THE traffic and licensing services of our municipality in Korsten have surely earned the label “Hooligan of the Year”! Unless something drastic happens to improve the service delivery of that department and the image of the entire division, they will have won it, hands down.

I have had first-hand experience of the manner in which the members of the public are treated by the licensing department, having attempted to renew my driver’s licence on Wednesday. Having failed to get through to the telephone number listed after 20 attempts, I managed to make contact with the manager, who advised me to arrive before 8am the following morning (Wednesday).

This I did, only to find a queue of frustrated residents outside a locked gate, just after 8am. An official approached us and advised that the office would be closed for the day.

He was joined by another official, who affixed notices to the fence, advising that owing to an industrial strike, the offices would be closed “until further notice”.

I had to postpone a number of appointments on Wednesday and come to terms with the reality of spending a full day in a queue. I spent some of that time canvassing opinions from fellow frustrated members of the queue.

Some had been compelled to apply for unpaid leave to renew their licences. One person, a security company employee who drives for a living, explained that it would be a case of “no bread on the table until further notice”.

This department clearly needs to be reminded that it should consider the impact it has before embarking on actions that can cause harm, inconvenience and injury to innocent residents of the metro. Our people are entitled to services, based on the basic values and principles governing public administration, as enshrined in chapter 10 of the constitution of our republic.

I will be engaging my colleagues on the safety and security committee to investigate, once more, the ongoing inefficiency and bureaucratic paralysis that has beset our traffic department.

A last thought for the officials: how would you feel, if you were told that you would not have food on the table, “until further notice”?

Brian Kivedo, DA PR councillor, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality

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