By the end of 2019, Nelson Mandela Bay residents will be able to book their learner’s and driving tests online.
The metro is among several cities that are in line for the roll-out of the online booking system which is already being piloted in Tshwane.
Safety and security boss Keith Meyer announced this at a media briefing at the South End fire station on Friday.
Meyer said the move only made sense as “we are living in the digital age, we use apps on our cellphones and this is the way to go”.
He also unveiled plans his department has in the pipeline, including the launch of a motorcycle unit and the deployment of a hard-skin vehicle to the gang-ridden northern areas.
Meyer said the online booking system came after the driver’s licence card authority responsible for licence testing was alerted to glitches in the software previously used.
The system has since been upgraded.
Traffic and licensing director Warren Prins said it was unclear when the online booking system would be piloted in the metro.
“The pilot is running in Tshwane. The date for the full roll-out will still be indicated to us,” Prins said.
“Metros or municipalities are only an agent for licensing.
“The online booking has improved the situation in Tshwane.
“We are currently using a manual system where people call in and we take bookings and that is running very well.”
Prins said they had noticed a significant decrease in complaints related to long queues.
“We have also been dealing with cards. The manual system is working well but with this a person will be able to make a booking from their phone and go online to choose a date and do your renewals, and so on.”
Meanwhile, Meyer said they hoped the opening of the Motherwell Thusong Centre – which includes a traffic and licensing centre – would reduce the amount of foot traffic at the Korsten testing centre.
Speaking about traffic fines, Meyer said the department realised residents were reluctant to pay fines.
This has resulted in the establishment of a warrant of arrest unit that is responsible for the execution of outstanding warrants of arrests.
“In the past we have only arrested very few [people] for outstanding warrants but now we have increased by about 400 a month,” Meyer said.
“The traffic and licensing unit issued 368 fines to taxis for violating … road traffic laws.”