A source who refused to be named expressed dissatisfaction with the service levels.

They said: “A recent visit to the Nelspruit Licensing Office revealed that no learner license applications have been accepted since October.

“There is only one test per month and only 16 application forms are given out daily. After not receiving on-site support due to the immense backlog, we traveled to Sabie and had to provide proof of residence before we were allowed to proceed with the application process, “the source said.

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According to Moeti Mmusi, provincial spokesman for the Ministry of Security and Liaison of the Community, the number of candidates admitted to the licensing offices has been limited.

“Only 16 applicants per class are allowed to promote social distancing between them per day,” he said. Mmusi added that all offices take bookings but said space is limited as applicants book in advance.

“For example, if you book today, the chances are that you won’t be able to write until March because February is fully booked.”

He stated that applicants do not need proof of residence but that he will provide clarifications on this.

The licensing offices remain open to the public and operate at normal hours.

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“We have skeleton staff to encourage social distancing, and all applicants must wear cloth masks, disinfect them, and have their temperature readings.”

A bonus for motorists, however, is that the renewal of the vehicle registration document can be done at post offices and on weekends.

“People don’t have to flock to centers to renew their vehicle licenses. This can be done at post offices such as Sonpark, Brown Street, White River, and Bushbuckridge.

“This will take the pressure off the centers, especially at this time when we have the problem of the rapidly spreading Covid-19.”

Moeti added that depending on how South Africans are reacting to the Covid-19 pandemic, another renewal moratorium could be granted but it is too early to assess.

“At the moment things are going normally. We hope that motorists with the expected documentation will have access to the centers before they come into conflict with the law, ”he concluded.