Jacob Mamabolo wants driving schools, staff to be regulated, vetted
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Pretoria - The Department of Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure wants driving schools and their staff to be regulated and vetted to expose crooks infiltrating the industry.
MEC for Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure Jacob Mamabolo said the Gauteng government was prepared to work with registered and recognised driving schools to create an environment whereby people who opened these businesses were vetted and held accountable.
He said when he was appointed MEC for the department he met with the industry and they discussed the importance of regulating the industry because there were some that advanced criminality.
He said the industry highlighted there were some ghost driving schools that were actually pretending to render services just to advance corruption and benefit their pockets while deceiving the system.
Mamabolo said driving schools in Gauteng needed to be accredited so that they too could be held accountable and their staff had appropriate credentials to provide this important training to people who will be permitted to drive on the roads some day.
He said there must be accountability in the sense that all the driving instructors had to be accredited and not just given the work to do simply because they could drive because this was a very important job.
"We are partnering with Amsco and the CSIR and we have agreed that they must help us to vet driving schools to verify: are your examiners registered? Do they actually know how to drive? Do they know all the rules of the roads? Are they competent to teach people how to drive? And is your driving school a proper facility?
"There will be a checklist of things we need to know because currently there are driving schools that exist by name only and they have no facility, nothing. They just go and buy off the shelves. We are going to end that.
"We cannot have driving schools teaching people how to drive when they, themselves, are not vetted. We are going to end all these fake driving schools because right now you can just say Jacob Mamabolo Driving School, here we make it fast, and I get a quick buck."
Mamabolo said the government reached an agreement with Amsco and the CSIR that genuine business entrepreneurs in the driving schools industry should get protection against those masquerading in the industry and the list of the registered driving schools must be published to help the public.
"We are also going to investigate and ask these driving schools, are you a front for our officials or not?"
Mamabolo said he was expecting that this would not be implemented easily without resistance but the department has already appointed the CSIR to look at this project of registering driving schools.
He said driving schools were very important and could not be wished away but the thing of people just walking in and saying they knew how to drive and could teach others needed to be looked at with the same enthusiasm to expose those that just buy drivers licences for their students who did not undergo any training or testing.
Eric Zwane who co-owns a driving school in Soshanguve and asked for it not to be named due to fears of being victimised said this would be welcomed by those doing business the legal way because those who were corrupt had taken over the industry and have powerful connections to guarantee their clients closer dates to test and also guaranteed them a pass as long as they could move a vehicle.
"This industry has been corrupted to the extent that our people just know and believe that to pass a driving test you need to have paid some small bribe and if you do not do then you will fail," he said.