The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng notes with deep concern that only 24 vehicles are allowed to be tested for roadworthiness at Vehicle Testing Centres in the province per day. This limitation was imposed by the Department of Roads and Transport to curb the spread of Covid-19.
In a reply to questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature for written reply, the MEC for Roads and Transport, Jacob Mamabolo indicated that the Gauteng Province has the capacity to test around 100 000 vehicles per month, while the current monthly average of roadworthy applications in the Province has only been around 64 000.
According to the MEC the restriction of only testing 24 vehicles per day which has been in place since Level 3 lockdown is to limit the number of applicants having to queue for roadworthy services at vehicle testing stations and who would then have to queue at licensing service centres to obtain the roadworthy certificate discs.
While the MEC indicates that this restriction was put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19, he also indicates that restriction has been imposed to prevent the uncontrollable issuing of fraudulent roadworthy certificates to vehicles that have not been presented or tested at a vehicle resting station. To impose restrictions as a measure to curb fraud is bizarre, this restriction would have the exact opposite effect.
Furthermore, the MEC states that this number is being revised so that it is in line with the South African National Standards (SANS) 10047, which has nothing to do with Covid-19. The testing stations and the premises from which the businesses operate have been evaluated by the GPA, before the businesses became licensed to trade. This means that once this has been done, the GPA has already determined how many tests a station can do. To use the SANS 10047 in an effort to legitimize the continued restrictions is nonsensical.
It is worrying that the department has not re-evaluated the vehicle testing limit as this policy, which is unlawful, has been in place since lockdown Level 3. All industries have adapted as the country moved through the various levels in order to accommodate customers with the required social distancing. It should also be noted that no restrictions are in place in any other province.
This will result in more unroadworthy vehicles on our roads leading to road carnage if the number of testing vehicles for roadworthiness is not reviewed. At level one of the national lockdown we expect to see more vehicles being tested as we are preparing for the opening of the economy.
The fact that there are only 24 vehicles tested per day at a vehicle testing centre clearly indicates that there is a backlog of vehicles waiting to be tested.
The MEC should indicate the real reason for the continuation of imposing these restrictions and how they intend to reduce this backlog that has had a negative impact on our motorists.