GRAAFF-REINET NEWS - Early last month, the Dr Beyers Naudé Local Municipality axed its driver's and learner's licence services at the Traffic Department in Graaff-Reinet, as the department was allegedly not up to standard.
The department claimed that those who already had appointments for these licences would not be affected, but no new appointments could be made for the next 30 days.
However, several angry residents have contacted the Advertiser to say that their appointments, which had been booked before the statement was issued, have been cancelled.
Those in Aberdeen who had booked for the learner's test had their money refunded, and had to travel to Willowmore.
One resident of Graaff-Reinet, who did not want to be named, expressed his frustration.
"I fail to comprehend the management skills of those who run the municipality.
"Some people already made arrangements with driving schools once they had appointments with the municipality and they were given dates," he said.
"I beg those who have the interest of the masses at heart to intervene, because a driver's licence is the key that opens doors to the work place."
The period of 30 days has now elapsed, but still no bookings are being taken in Graaff-Reinet or Aberdeen.
A reliable source, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Advertiser last month that an inspectorate from the Eastern Cape Department of Transport had visited the local office and declared that it was not up to standard, with insufficient employees.
Yet, according to a friend of a former employee, some of the qualified people have left the department as they felt victimised when they complained about poor working conditions. "Qualified people are sitting at home."
Acting spokesperson for the municipality, Wilca Smith, insisted that people with existing appointments will not be affected.
"However, the municipality made a request to the Department of Transport to assist with staff, and the approval was granted last week Friday," she told the Advertiser.
Smith added that it is still unclear when these staff members will be on site.
"Once we know, all persons involved will be informed."
She concluded that people with appointments were contacted by the department if issues occurred.
'We bring you the latest Graaff-Reinet, Karoo news'