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April 13, 2024

NEW DRIVER’S LICENCE TESTING CENTRE OPENED IN GRABOUW

As part of the Theewaterskloof Community Safety Forum plan for the Grabouw and greater Theewaterskloof area, the Theewaterskloof Municipality today officially opened a new Driver’s Licence Testing Centre in the town. 

It was an enormous loss for the community when the Grabouw Traffic Department was burned to the ground in May 2016 during a protest. This left residents without access to essential licencing services for several years. Four years ago, a temporary Licencing Department was opened at the old Grabouw fines department offices on the corner of Ryke and Worcester Street. In 2022 the offices moved to a new facility and so the process started to establish a new dedicated office for licencing with services that include the written learners licence exams, renewal of existing licences as well as applications for PDP and other licences.

Following the relevant inspections and approvals by the National and Provincial transport authorities, the registration of the new Driver’s Licence Testing Centre was approved, late last month.

Municipal Manager Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said the establishment of this new testing centre marks a crucial step towards restoring vital services to the community and addressing the longstanding need for accessible licencing facilities in Grabouw. 

“The centre will offer a range of services including licence renewals, applications for new licences, eye-testing and testing for learner drivers, ” he added. 

As shown by the latest Municipal Economic Review and Outlook (MERO) data statistics, Theewaterskloof contributed to 46.9% of employment in the Overberg Districtin 2021, but as further illustrated by the data, most of the jobs involved low-skilled (37.4%) or semi- skilled (31.1%) workers. 

Despite the job market not fully recovering from COVID-19 levels, the agricultural and trade sectors continue to play a critical role in creating jobs and as one of the most urbanized areas in the Overberg, Theewaterskloof plays a leading role in driving the GDPR of the district. 

As shown by the latest data, Theewaterskloof contributed 40.1% of the District’s GDPR in 2021. 

“We view providing services such as licencing as a vital and often first step in opening the doors of employment and other opportunities to someone. I cannot stress enough the importance of obtaining a licence as the initial step towards unlocking opportunities. A license enhances your credibility and marketability in the job market,” said Solomons-Johannes. 

“A licence isn’t just a piece of paper, each licence opens doors to various employment avenues, enabling individuals to pursue their career aspirations and contribute meaningfully to the community. By investing in acquiring licences, individuals not only empower themselves but also bolster the economy by fostering a skilled and qualified workforce.”

Randal Barreiro, the Director of Transport Administration and Licencing in Western Cape Government: Department of Mobility, echoed these sentiments emphasizing the importance of a licence and the big loss that the torching of the Traffic Department was, not only to Theewaterskloof, but to the provincial transport authority who had also lost resources when the building burned down.  

“We felt the loss, the same way you felt it, but we share in your excitement today to have some services restored to the community of Grabouw. At the moment, you are only going to issue learners licence, but we want the services to be rendered and fully restored” he said.

“As everyone has mentioned, a driver’s licence is important and when people out of frustration escalate complaints to the director’s office, the first thing I tell my people is that a driver’s licence is an empowerment tool. It lifts somebody out of poverty. When you have a driver’s licence, it allows you into the job market, but we only see that person with the driving licence. We don’t realise that they have a family to feed. So that driver’s licence empowers more than just one person, it empowers a family, school fees can be paid, and it lifts the community. So yes, we are all for providing the services and we support you,” he added.

The Executive Deputy Mayor John Michels, during his turn said the decision to open the testing centre in Grabouw comes as a response to the challenges faced by residents who often had to travel to other towns to renew their driver’s licences. 

“This has proved to be burdensome and inconvenient, particularly for those without access to reliable transportation,” he said.

“By bringing licencing services closer to home, the new testing centre will alleviate these challenges and ensure that all members of the Grabouw community have access to essential services”. 

In addition to providing convenience, the centre will also contribute to road safety by making it easier for residents to comply with licencing requirements and undergo the necessary testing, which will help to lower accidents caused by uncertified drivers.

“The administration and political leadership of the Theewaterskloof Municipality expresses our immense gratitude to all stakeholders involved in making the opening of the testing centre possible, including local authorities, government agencies, especially the Western Cape Government: Department of Mobility as well as community members who have advocated for the restoration of services in Grabouw,” said Michels.

“Their collective efforts have resulted in a positive outcome for the community, demonstrating the power of collaboration and community-driven initiatives,” he added. 

In closing Solomons-Johannes said the municipality remains committed to serving the needs of the Grabouw community and exploring further opportunities for improvement and development.

“The opening of the new driver’s licence testing centre is just one example of our ongoing efforts to enhance the quality of life for all residents and create a safer, more accessible environment for everyone,” he said.

Residents are encouraged to visit the new testing centre to take advantage of the services available and ensure that their licencing needs are met in a timely and efficient manner.

The Grabouw Driver’s Licence Testing Centre will be open tomorrow and will provide services from 08:00 until 12:45 from Monday to Thursday, with a 45 minute break in services between 13:00 and 13:45. The centre will re-open daily from 13:45 until 15:00. On Friday’s it will only be open from 08:00 until 12:45.

Keep an eye on our website and social media platforms for more information about the full list of services available at the Grabouw Driver’s Licence Testing Centre.

Ends

For media enquiries please email media@twk.gov.za. 

Issued by Theewaterskloof Communications Department