Human guile trips up IT

By Leon Engelbrecht, ITWeb senior writer
Johannesburg, 26 Jun 2007

Applying IT to licence bookings is paying off - when and where officials co-operate and do not sabotage the system, says Gauteng premier Mbazima Shilowa.

Speaking in his annual budget vote this morning, Shilowa followed up on promises to sort out the chaos surrounding the booking of learner and driver licences in the province.

Shilowa last year centralised such bookings by making the Gauteng Shared Services Centre (GSSC) the responsible authority in a bid to eradicate fraud and corruption. However, this has not gone down well at some municipalities where traffic officials made a personal profit on bookings and issuing licences.

The system, which is proprietary, is not connected to the much-maligned electronic National Traffic Information System (eNatis). Shilowa also rolled out a computerised learner and driver licence test system earlier this year, for the same reasons.

"Both systems were first piloted at the Langlaagte driving licence testing centre to ensure they were stable before rolling out to other centres. All centres except those in Ekurhuleni have now been linked to the central learner booking system. Centres in Ekurhuleni will go live on 1 July.

"I have, however, been informed that management at the Randburg testing station is not co-operating and is withholding information from the contact centre.

"Together with the City of Johannesburg, we need to ensure the situation is corrected forthwith as no one should be allowed to circumvent agreed procedures or undermine our commitment to efficient service delivery to the public."

An official at the Langlaagte testing station added that things were not going swimmingly there either, placing the blame for the many empty seats in the learner licence testing centre on the GSSC.

In contact

Shilowa also said work on a new, hi-tech 10111 police contact centre, which will be able to monitor the deployment and movement of police vehicles, is now complete.

"In February, we announced the Department of Safety and Security was working on a new hi-tech 10111 centre that will be able to monitor the deployment and movement of police vehicles. I am glad to announce the centre has now been completed and is currently being furnished.

"While all SAPS vehicles are being fitted with the new radios, the system will go live later than anticipated due in part to the need to include new areas from the former cross-boundary municipality and environmental issues in those areas."

Related stories:
Police contact centre on track
IT eliminates driver fraud
Hi-tech solution to driver licence woes
Time runs out for licensing solutions
Gauteng turns to ICT to end chaos
Tech foils plans for seamless service