There was a huge backlog at testing centres around the country because of the lockdown and where centres have reopened, staff were trying to catch up, says Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.
He was speaking during a visit to a Sandton driving licence testing centre in Marlboro on Thursday.
During his address to the media, the minister said he had noticed that many workers had not reported for work because they were afraid of contracting Covid-19.
He said workers were allowed to work from home, especially those not feeling well, and others who might feel that they are at risk of contracting the coronavirus.
“Some of them are just lazy. I want to put it on record that workers must be protected and provided with necessary tools. If they are not protected they must down tools. Managers must manage and ensure things are in order. I know that it is done only for me to see the beauty of this place and once I’m gone things are changing,” said Mbalula.
He said staff he spoke to at the centre were excited to be on duty and were wearing relevant personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect themselves.
Since the introduction of level 3 of the lockdown there has been an increased demand for licensing of all types of vehicles.
Mbalula said driving licence testing centres, registering authorities, vehicle testing stations and driving schools re-opened from 1 June.
“All driving licence testing centres, registering authorities, vehicle testing stations and driving schools must put measures in place to adhere to social distancing to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“They must sanitise or provide hygiene dispensers for the washing of hands for their clients when entering their premises. People including workers are not allowed to enter if they do not wear a face mask,” said Mbalula.
Mbalula added that all driving licences, temporary driver’s licences, motor-vehicle license discs, temporary permits, roadworthy certificates, professional driving permits and motor trade number licences that expire during the period that commenced from 26 March up to and including 31 May are deemed to be valid and their validity period is further extended with 90 days from the beginning of this month.
“The road ahead is long and winding, we are not out of the woods just yet. Challenges remain but we press on. We appeal for patience and understanding from road users as we slowly embark on a journey that will lead us to a new normal,” Mbalula said.