Driving schools cause traffic chaos as they demand online bookings be scrapped
The National Driving School Association of SA disrupted traffic on the N1 on Friday as the organisation embarked on the first day of a planned three-day protest to have the online booking system scrapped.
Various driving school operators drove on the N1 from the Centurion offices of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) to the Gauteng roads and transport department office on Friday morning.
JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar confirmed that there was an obstruction on the southbound carriageway due to the protest action.
RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane said the agency had noted the contents of the memorandum submitted to it, but questioned some of its contents.
“They have handed over their memorandum. Their memorandum says we must tell the minister of transport to respond to the memorandum that they gave to him on February 15. We have noted the contents of their memorandum.
“The memorandum they have given to us lacks details in many respects. So there is nothing in the memorandum that justifies them taking such drastic actions, so we will also plan accordingly,” he said.
The driving school association said it would continue its fight until the February 15 memorandum was responded to in writing. Contained in the memorandum was the demand for the online booking system to be scrapped.
On Wednesday, the association urged the public not to visit traffic department offices on Monday and Tuesday as it would be continuing with its march to have its demands met.
“On Monday and Tuesday, we are closing all the stations. There will be no service for all stations. We are urging the public not to go to any traffic department,” said Abel Mositsa, the association's chairperson.
Some driving school operators staged protests at various drivers' licence testing centres in Gauteng last week. They say the online system has created backlogs, as bookings can be made online only once a week and they are struggling to get slots for their students.
The RTMC on Tuesday slammed the driving schools' opposition to the booking system.
“While the RTMC recognises their democratic right to protest, we strongly condemn action that disrupts the delivery of much-needed services.”