Obtaining a drivers’ license in South African densely populated areas should be treated as a business opportunity, whilst delivering the service. The fact that provincial and local governments in Gauteng chose to spin their lack of innovation, instead of thinking out of the box, is mind-boggling.
Regarding Gauteng and many other established urban centres, the fact is that the drivers’ license issuing capacity has not grown in step with the population densities and economic growth. Citizens are still largely expected to be content with the service delivery capacity created between 1950s and 1980s. The design of these facilities,for starters, expose lack of operational efficiency in the designer, with vast pieces of land in some cases poorly utilised to house these services.
Though technology on the drivers’ licenses processing side has improved, it is the operations and maintenance thereof that lets it down, and consequently making it not focus on continuous improvement.
Bribery and fraud aside, provincial and local governments simply fail in the category of operational capacity and efficiency.
Instead, much focus has been on PR spin led largely by provincial political office bearers with limited knowledge on the operational realities on the ground. Hence such unnecessary ‘innovations’ as online bookings that open and closes to the citizens huge inconvenience.
The situation can be remedied very easily: outside funding, capacity-driven and efficiency-driven designs of test yards, detailed capacity determinations on testing outputs, smarter land use, adequate staffs to meet planned capacity and output, and detailed financial planning for project setup and operations.
The whole plan is a 6-months project and all shall be ready, covering mobilising of project teams, identifying sites, designing test yards, building test yards, recruiting and training staffs, installing eNaTIS technology, obtaining all required accreditations.
The funder and the provincial government or local government can enter revenue sharing arrangements for the number of years that would allow reasonable recovery of initial investment and some profit,whilst the provincial government or municipality scores in both revenue and service delivery coverage.
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