I HAVE just returned from the traffic department in Port Elizabeth (Wednesday, September 12) after an incredible 4½ hours trying to renew my driver's licence. Despite my best efforts of being completely prepared in terms of having the necessary documentation completed, including eye test and photocopies, and still getting a colleague to stand in the queue to pay, all of these efforts made absolutely no difference whatsoever.
Only three of the six points where the eye tests, photos and signatures are done were actually staffed (one staff member of whom was stretching and yawning – most unprofessional!). Only two of the five cashier points were manned.
This is absolutely unacceptable. There must have been a queue of at least 200 people.
Refusing to accept such poor service, I approached one of the staff members and requested that the manager open more cashier points.
After some time, a third and then a fourth opened, much to the relief of everyone!
This however, is not the end of the story. A vagrant, who appeared to be intoxicated, then made his presence felt, trying to "entertain" all the tired, irritated and annoyed members of the public by swearing at them, lecturing them on judgment day, taking his shirt off and then wanting to fight with one of the men waiting there. Wow! You guessed it, no security in sight whatsoever!
This went on for quite some time until security staff surfaced from a back area to drag him off. Who knows if this man was even carrying a weapon!
So here is a challenge to the manager of the traffic department: make the turnaround time people have to spend in the traffic department to renew and pay for licences a maximum of one hour! This can be achieved, especially if all posts are staffed, and your staff make a concerted effort to attend to customers as competently and efficiently as possible.
I think it's also extremely important that as a manager, you need to be visibly managing as well as being responsible for keeping an eye on operations to ensure queues are moving, posts are manned and identifying any potential security risks! So why not set a standard and stand out from all the rest?
These endless queues of tired, annoyed and frustrated citizens are completely unnecessary. Please do something!
Name supplied, Port Elizabeth