- Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula revealed that South Africa's only driver's license card printing machine was again functional
- The machine had reportedly not been in use due to a breakdown since November last year, leading to an even bigger backlog
- Responding to Mbalula's announcement, locals expressed dismay and jubilation, with some relieved to be in line for new cards
PAY ATTENTION: Click “See First” under the “Following” tab to see Briefly News on your News Feed!
JOHANNESBURG - Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula cut a delighted figure on Wednesday as he announced that the country's only driver's licence card printing machine was finally back in working order.
As if South African motorists had not had their fill of poor road infrastructure, record fuel price hikes, and then some, the 20-year-old machine's near three-month-long dysfunctional state only served to worsen an already bad headache.
It had reportedly broken down on 7 November before adding to an existing backlog of expired driver's license holders waiting in line to get their reissued cards.
"I visited the staff at the Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA), spending the afternoon with them. The licensing card printer has been repaired and is in working order. The staff is pulling day and nightshift to ensure your licenses are made and delivered," said Mbalula.
PAY ATTENTION: Never miss breaking news – join Briefly News' Telegram channel!
Mbalula said the machine was not small in size and needed lots of people with technical expertise to operate it. He added some of the staff had worked with the transport department from a while ago and had the required knowledge on how to operate the card printer.
Critical netizens chipped in on the development, and the time it took before it was finally up and running again. Some locals were simply grateful they could finally get their licenses reissued, while others were more vocal about their displeasure.
Locals go in for the kill
Briefly News takes a look at the cocktail of reactions below.
"Can we have a reprint of our license cards as the font is not legible and impossible to read?"
"Minister @MbalulaFikile but why the whole of South Africa is dependent on one machine? Each province must have its own printing machine so that we don't wait weeks and weeks for our licenses. Also, more job opportunities will be created."
"Good morning kanjane? Highest taxes ever, highest Eskom tariffs, highest petrol price, highest unemployment, highest crime...but hey, cadres doing well looting Covid."
"Two important lessons to be learnt from this embarrassing flop: 1. Buy another machine...and have two; 2. Send technicians to GERMANY...and have them taught how to fix the machine."
'Cash-strapped' RAF seeks to pay R14 bn
Despite this and its obvious cash flow problems, the national government department insisted it was not at a stage where it needed a bailout, according to a report by TimesLIVE.
RAF is responsible for providing appropriate cover to all road users within the borders of South Africa. The fund rehabilitates and compensates persons injured in motor vehicles and claims it actively promotes the safe use of the country's roads.
Source: Briefly News