ON a day when the temperature was 30°C I joined the queue at the Korsten licensing department to renew my driver’s licence. I arrived there at 12.15pm and stood outside in the hot sun for two hours 15 minutes before I was let into the building as part of the last batch of 20 let in at 2.30pm.
I felt very dehydrated. Inside there were sufficient benches and good air conditioning, but no drinking fountains with disposable cups and adequate disposal bins.
At best five of eight stations were manned.
I had phoned to find out what I needed. All I was told was my ID book, current licence and R216. I indicated I was a pensioner so if the department cared enough I could have been told:
If you are not there very early, most of your queue time could be outside in the open. It may be hot, so bring an umbrella, something to drink, a small folding chair and a book;
Once inside, you must first have your ID copied, but if you want to avoid that queue bring a good copy which is neatly centred on an A4 page;
On entering, collect the appropriate form to complete, on a shelf just as you enter (bring a black pen).
When pensioners know they may fail their eye test it is best to have a certificate from their optometrist handy. I failed the eye test and went to my optometrist, who scoffed after he tested me and passed me.
He explained that it could be that the machines were not always calibrated accurately or even that the tester was not well enough trained.
When pensioners vote at our elections, they are treated with dignity and are escorted to the front of the queue. It would be such a comforting act if on showing their IDs, pensioners were allowed inside the licensing department without having to queue outside.
Concerned pensioner, Port Elizabeth