Keynote address by MEC Bheki Nkosi at the Gauteng DLTC fraud and corruption turn-around strategy workshop, Turfontein Race Course
3 Aug 2010
Friends and colleagues
Representatives of public and private partner organisations; including BAC, SALGA, etc
Ladies and gentlemen
We are just three weeks away from the first ever internationally commemorated Nelson Mandela Day, where the whole world paid tribute to the contribution of our leader and father, Nelson Mandela, to world freedom, development and justice. We all spent 67 minutes, some of us more, doing something positive and constructive; contributing to the development of our communities and society at large.
Our hearts are still pumping at 90 degrees high from the spectacular hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This is where we stood together to protect the brand that is South Africa, our beloved country. Now all that has passed and we are taking stock of other tasks ahead, other challenges that require the same spirit of unity in action and purpose.
As government we are very clear. We understand that the current administration led by Premier Mokonyane, entered into a social contract with the people of Gauteng. Our people confidently entrusted us with a mandate to create jobs, and push back the frontiers of poverty, tackle the scourge of fraud and corruption and fraud in all its manifestations.
It is in this context that the Gauteng Provincial Government has vowed, through our seven strategic priorities areas of service delivery, to move with speed in bringing fundamental and positive socio-economic change to the people of Gauteng. It is this trust and confidence, bestowed upon this current administration, by the overwhelming masses of our people that continue to inspire us to do whatever is necessary to fast-track service delivery in this province – Kuyasheshwa!
We have the resolve and the determination to achieve these objectives, one of them being the intensification of the fight against fraud and corruption within our service delivery machinery. This resolve is well captured in the Gauteng Anti Fraud and Corruption strategy, which is a broad approach to dealing with this social and moral cancer across the board.
The department is in the process of developing a turn-around strategy for Gauteng Driver and Learner Testing Centres (DLTC). It is in this regard that this workshop of our key stakeholders has been convened.
The intention is to broach the widest views on the re-engineering of our DLTC's. For a department like ours, the broadest and the immediate interaction with the people are through the DLTC. Thus DLTC's to us constitute the foremost frontline service. In the re-engineering of our DLTC's we should be prepared to take the boldest steps and we will have no holy cows.
The genesis of problems in the DLTC's is the huge mismatch between demand and supply. The other problem has been that the provisioning of DLTC has lagged far behind the increase in the Gauteng population and consequently the vehicle population.
As part of all the problems related to the Apartheid legacy, these facilities are mostly in white areas and we have failed to alter the situation and in the last 16 years of democratic rule, no Greenfields DLTC project has been built in the township.
The demand side for DLTC is gravely distorted. The number of people who apply for driver's for heavy vehicle testing outweighs the number of light motor vehicle testing by three to one. And this is largely attributed to the general perception that obtaining a Code 10 driver's license is easier than Code 8.
Municipalities manage DLTC's on an agency basis for the provincial government. The Service Level Agreement (SLA) between the provincial government and the municipality has not been worth the paper they have been signed on, and this applies to both sides.
The issue of fraud and corruption in our DLTC's are legendary. The introduction of the call centre in 2005 was meant to deal with this issue, particularly the power that the driving schools had on the available slots
Management of DLTC'S
There's a need to develop Operational Efficiency Programme (OEP). The purpose of OEP is to:
- Align services at the DLTC's with principles of Batho Pele
- To simplify the daily management of the DLTC's by introducing measurements of operational efficiency that are able to monitor progress and quickly identify areas of operations that are not operating optimally and processes that are creating bottlenecks
- Development of standardised business processes.
These measurements will also be used for setting improvement targets and benchmarking future improvement programmes.
The policy gaps will not need to be tightened to deal with the distortion on the demand. The debate of ensuring that only holders of the light motor vehicle license will be allowed to test for the heavy vehicle might need revisiting.
Our licenses are used by all as a form of identification, and whether we are paying a price for this remains to be tested.
The regulation and accreditation of the driving schools should become part of the piece to the puzzle; with incentives and penalties being put in place for passes in the driver's test. The high failure rate constitutes one of the burdens of the system.
The department is already rolling out a programme to add on the number of examiners so that our DLTC's are utilised optimally and this will significantly improve service delivery.
The Minister of Transport has already issued regulations for the increase of the working hours and for our DLTC's to be opened on weekends. The province, together with Municipalities will have to take a lead in the roll out of the new working hours.
Fighting fraud and corruption
The problems related to fraud and corruption within our DLTC's shortens the reach of our service delivery and this is why fighting it is integral to our Turn-Around Strategy for Gauteng DLTC's. Our Anti-Fraud and Corruption strategy is informed by and forms part of the broader Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy.
For an act of corruption to occur there is a corruptor and a corruptee and for this reason we need to mobilise civil society and our stakeholders should have confidence in our system for them to blow a whistle on corruption.
The use of technology in the DLTC's was piloted at Laanglagte in 2007. It remains part of the solutions that we will deploy to improve service delivery.
Technology will increase capacity and deal with fraud and corruption, but it has to be deployed where it will be best suited and where it can be effectively utilised in all our DLTC's in the province
The reasons for the call centre I have alluded to earlier in my input. This notwithstanding the issue of fraud and corruption has not escaped the call centre. This financial year the cost benefit analysis of the call centre need to be made and a decision on this will be made when we are ready. Some of the problems that the call centre wanted to deal with, e.g. the power of the driving schools over citizens can be dealt through regulation of the driving schools, amongst others.
Revenue from the Motor Vehicle Registration and Licensing, and other DLTC related activities constitute the largest revenue for the Gauteng Provincial Government. It is the revenue that the DRT has generously shared with our municipalities if comparison with Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal were to be made.
The DRT has introduced a competitive environment for the benefit of our citizens by improving service through the partnership with the South African Post Office (SAPO) in this equation, although this has been controversial in some quarters.
This innovation has been a wonderful service delivery experience to our citizens.
It is my hope that we will, together as partners, understand the bigger picture. That it is not about us, but about the recipients of government services that propels us to do everything in our power to remain within their trust. This can only happen if we close ranks, and work together in unity. We must continue to engage and consult, because such an approach demonstrates the commitment of the current political administration to mobilising all resources and partnerships to achieve service delivery goals in the current term of office.
The importance of your contribution as partners cannot be overemphasised. Our success is your success, for without you this much we would not be able to do.
Working together, we can do more'is informed by the ANC government's desire to ensure that our partners become co-creators of solutions.
I thank you.
Source: Department of Roads and Transport, Gauteng Provincial Government
Issued by: Gauteng Roads and Transport
3 Aug 2010
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