MUNICIPAL traffic and licensing chief Hamilton Totoyi should be fired immediately.
After arriving, at 7.15am at the traffic department, I found there was already a queue of about 75m outside. Once the building doors opened, all hell broke loose – people continuously pushed in from the side and were even taken, by traffic department staff, through side doors and to the front of the queue.
This is supposed to be a first world city and administration. That was however just the start because after standing in this "queue” for too long, you get to look inside at the absolute chaos.
The fact that there were two women handling photos/fingerprints/eye tests is shocking. The fact that many other staff were seen sitting at their desks eating, making coffee, eating some more and generally doing nothing shows just how shocking this department really is. Most of the cashiers were also closed. Just looking at the "system”, it was clear to me that someone with the brain capacity of a six-year-old "designed” it. Nobody in their right mind would try to get the two main queues (cashier and ID/eye/fingerprint) to join, cross and cross again, yet they did.
The "system” is shambolic at best, embarrassing in reality. While I was in this queue, I had to listen to a woman whose husband died of a heart attack in the very same queue last year!
Give this department to me for one day and I will make it more efficient. I dare you, Mr Totoyi – one day and I will do more than you have done in 10 years.
Mr Totoyi, perhaps you should get out of your office and take a drive. Check to see how many of your traffic officers, usually three or four to a car, sit around Njoli Square between 9am and 1pm.
They usually eat some shisa nyama (braaied meat) or KFC while smoking in their vehicles (government property so illegal) and checking on their taxis. I have seen some officers actually take their taxis for a drive and take fares.
Another favourite haunt is around the back roads of Coega, Greenbushes and just about every other shady bush in the metro. Your "officers” are not known to do much in this city of ours and you, as the head honcho there, should be embarrassed as it reflects on you.
Many people I know, as well as myself, have either been directly asked for a bribe from a traffic cop, or who bribe them. It really is as easy as anything.
However, the traffic department union, together with the taxi associations, are to blame for this. They are all interconnected and deserve to share much of the blame for the chaos that reigns on our roads, bus system and even metro.
Not all can be pinned on your department. However people are driving like cowboys on the roads as they know that they can due to the fact that our local traffic cops are ineffective.
In actual fact, other than at taxi ranks, the only time I have seen a traffic department vehicle this year was when 10 of them escorted the Afcon buses! Sorry, but that is criminal – why are 15 men (players and reserves) more important than the 1.4 million people of this city?
We are more important and should be your priority.
I would even go as far as to say that Totoyi should be prosecuted for culpable homicide for the deaths on Port Elizabeth roads.
As for me, I went through to another smaller town (no name mentioned as it keep its efficient department a secret). It had two staff, half as many as you have, even though its budget is 1/100 000th of yours.
The service was friendly and so efficient that the woman official even came across to my side of the counter to finish the forms for me. The cost was also less than what Port Elizabeth charges for a licence renewal.
Mr Totoyi, get your house in order or resign. One day those who protect you, and you know who they are, will fall.
Then maybe the rest of the city can prosper. The sad reality of this letter though is that nothing will come of anything while our current bunch of local mamparas have a hand on our equally ineffective council!