While the prices of license applications and renewals will be increasing come April, drivers who apply at City of Cape Town offices may not be able to get theirs as eye testing machines are currently offline.

According to City spokesperson Richard Coleman, the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs in Pretoria experienced a power failure over the weekend and this has impacted the national server. It is not yet clear when this will be resolved.

A very similar problem was experienced in the Western Cape and Gauteng Province in March 2019, and also originated in Pretoria.

Driving license cards are issued by the Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA) in Pretoria, which is a trading entity of the National Department of Transport. There have been several delays to the issuing of license cards in the past 24 months alone. Four months of industrial action in 2018 left the card production facility’s interface damaged.

Another issue still hindering the process is the poor state of the Live Enrollment Units (LEUs), systems that are used to perform eye tests on learner’s and driving licence applicants as well as those applying for licence card renewals. The LEUs are in dire need of a software upgrade and as a result are not functioning well. Earlier this year, the City of Cape Town announced it was steadily working on repairing the LEUs at its Vehicle Licensing Centres.

“The technical assistance required from the DLCA is lacking and further compounds the problem. Without eye tests, licence and card applications cannot be completed,” Mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, said.

The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works have been urging the National Department of Transport, the DLCA and the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) to address these problems.

Picture: Vision Optometrists

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