Monday, November 06, 2006

My Contribution To The Final Article

For the final edition of the news portal I decided to find solutions to the problems that we have recognised by going out and randomly interviewing people not only at licensing centers but also at malls and on the streets so as to get unbiased responses, views and opinions on the matter. Working in a group of four we came up with this.

Tightening a bolt, with a screwdriver… Fixing the licensing departments problems

On the last edition of the news portal we are shifting our focus on to the solutions that are possible. It came to the point where it was shown that the South African driver’s license system has a lot of problems. There is no need of just stating the problems and then leaving it at that, we also have to try countering the problems by coming back with viable solutions. So bearing that in mind, we set of to interview random people, not the people from the license centers. This was done so that we can try keeping it unbiased and also getting different types of responses.

After the interviews were conducted there was a large amount of resonance stated, that in order to minimize corruption there has to be more server punishment enforced on the guilty party. These can range from community service to a hefty jail sentence and revoking their licenses for good. Then one of the instructors rebutted this point by stating that working in the government service sector, the pay is very minimum, so they have to do what they can to survive in an expensive world. There was a different response in relation to corruption, by university students.
“Corruption can not be combated” they stated that there might be better ways in attacking the growing phenomena but the government is to slow to do anything.
One alternative that can be looked at is, government working together with big business, civil society and schools to help the department in increase capacity and resources such as money, and skills training for employees who are working at the licensing departments.

The corruption is not the only problem that the licensing department also faces. The issue of finances is the largest factor that needs to be changed according to the official at Rossburgh. He proclaims that they are getting nothing for the services they offer. ‘What would the country be if there was no driving centers, because we are the heart of the transport infrastructure within South Africa.” The interviewee failed to state any strong and concrete solutions that might help beside, more funding.

So what has been shown is that there are things that can be done to fix the growing problem, but not all of them are cut and dry. There is a lot of problems and restructuring that will have to take place and that different people say and think differently, so it is quite hard to pleas everyone, if there all come with different solutions.

MM Dlamini - Researcher
Siyabonga Nkabinde - Writer
Manelisi Ndlovu - Interviewer
Thaba Mchunu - Researcher

Link to unlicensed

Monday, October 30, 2006

More than 200 arrested in Jo'burg !!!

Well finally some good on a newspaper, since newspapers have a reputation of only publishing bad news it’s nice or rather interesting to read something positive on the newspaper for a change. According to a reporter from the Mail & Guardian 238 people were arrested for crimes ranging from rape to housebreaking and robbery, to come back to reality it’s obvious that there is more bad than good happening out there, so we’re bound to see reports on bad things then good, but nevertheless a report on something positive is always nice to see.
Accessed 30 October 2006

Monday, October 23, 2006

My Contribution


Since for the second edition we are looking at high schools and their relationship with licensing my group has decided to focus on actually asking the question why most of our schools don’t have an efficient learners and driver’s license learning program whereby students can matriculate having acquired a matric certificate and a driver’s license. In going about this task we will interview a number of students and members of staff to get an equally represented output of information so as to construct a well balanced article with objective views and suggestions.

Since I was the writer for this article I was responsible for putting everything together that means all the information collected by the researcher and interviews had to be assembled by me.

Group Members

Manelisi Ndlovu

Siyabonga Nkabinde

Mlungisi Dlamini

Thaba Mchunu

Most of our high schools don’t have a drivers learning program.

After thoroughly investigating and researching schools in and around Kwa-Zulu Natal, it came to our understanding that a high majority of our schools don’t have a properly structured program where students can be introduced to the rules of the road and driving at an early age. In a country like this where there is a daily increase of unemployment it is astounding to come to the realization that there is such a high majority of schools without a learning program such as this. Even with the implementation of the outcomes based education (OBE) method of teaching it saddens that none of our highly paid government officials within the education ferternity could conceive the importants of a drivers license as a core prerequisite for employment.

Since this issue was revealed to us as university students we have taken it upon ourselves to go out and investigate this issue in anticipation of getting questions that matter answered and possibly raising awareness that will count in advantage to young people currently in school, in that they not only matriculate with a certificate, but also with a drivers license which will widen their opportunities and not to mention the relieving of stress that comes with struggling for a license at a later stage in life.

Thabiso Mthembu 17 is student at Effingham secondary school current in grade 11. Thabiso is one of the many Effingham secondary pupils who see the need of a learners and drivers learning program in his school. In an interview Thabiso assured us of there being no program such as the one mentioned above running at his school and after being briefly told about this program and asked if it would work at his school, he confidently replied and said “yeah! it would work if the government stepped in and offered us money, skills and resources to help implement the program at our school”. After being hyped up and excited about this program when Thabiso was asked why such a program wasn’t being offered at his school he said “I’m honestly not sure why we don’t have this program, maybe it’s because we don’t have resources and properly trained teachers for this particular program, but I’m honestly not sure, its best you speak to people in management of this school”, and after replying “no to neither” after being asked if he had any one of the two a learners or drivers license, Thabiso went on to say that now he feels discouraged about a drivers license since he might have been passed by a golden opportunity of getting his license whilst in school. After the interview with Thabiso an understanding of how much a minor set back in an individuals life really dawned on us.

In further investigating this issue an anonymous staff member from Brettonwood High School spoke to one of our investigators. When the staff member was asked if a program such as one mentioned above was running at this school she said “no, not any more, but a program similar to this one use to be available to learners”, in a twist of events questions prepared by our investigator changed to suit the unexpected response given above, she was further asked why the program stopped running she replied “students were abusing the cars and frequently they would get stolen since this school is situated in a high crime risk area”, and when asked if it were possible to bring the program back since it’s necessity was so obvious she said “yes it would be possible to bring the program back, but it would take a lot more effort from the governments side in terms of security and maintenance of the cars since the task of running such a program was evidently to much for a school individually”. The anonymous stuff member went on to say that reintroducing the program in the school and implementing it across South Africa would take a long time since government would take their own time as it has with the new computerized cars, which were said to be in every licensing centre, but are only still at Rossburgh. It is obvious that teachers and learners especially, would appreciate a program such as this at their schools which is saddening that people who probably have their drivers licenses are refusing young people an opportunity to do the same at an early age.

The information obtained from the interviews conducted above clearly shows that there is no one reason why there are no learners and drivers license learning programs in our schools. Majority of the problem lies in the slacking government, poor school management and immoral social behaviour in schools and in areas where schools are located and for change and development to occur in this particular situation, there needs to be change in negative influencing factors first.

Manelisi Ndlovu - Writer

Siyabonga Nkabinde - Interviewer

Mlungisi Dlamini - Interviewer

Thaba Mchunu - Researcher

link to unlicensed

Saturday, October 21, 2006

How has the transformation of acquiring a driver’s license affected society?

A drivers license today is one of the core prerequisites for employment, not only in South Africa, but across the world. It is therefore important that the system and procedure of acquiring a license is strictly and properly managed. With all the changes that have occurred at licensing centers around South Africa, I guess the real question is “has the transformation in the process of acquiring a drivers license affected society, and if so, how?”It’s clear that the new procedure of obtaining a drivers license is affecting society in different ways. To gain some depth on this issue Mr S. Ndlovu was interviewed, because he had the opportunity of experiencing both the old and the new procedure of acquiring his driver’s license. “The new procedure is much better because there is lesser opportunity for corruption and unfair treatment”, he told our interviewer. Mr Ndlovu also went on to say that there is now no more room for error since there is no human intelligence involved in this process therefore what you get is totally dependant on your performance in whichever test you are doing and not on the officers experience or knowledge.
Public impression in the local press is given that the new system does not accommodate the needs and expectations of those who are in need of a driver's license. Most people think that it is better if the test is not computerized because a computer is just a machine, programmed for perfection with no room for error, whereas if an instructor was in control, he is more flexible and not confined to exact measures. This is not to say that instructors should be blind to the mistakes of those tested and/or rely on bribery to further their own personal interests. With human beings, there is no perfect and exact method of driving.
To equally represent two generations' view on this topic, Mr B. Ngcobo, who worked as a driving instructor for more than seven years was interviewed. Speaking from experience, Mr Ngcobo argued differently to Mr Ndlovu, in that the old method was better then the current method. To support his argument Mr Ngcobo said that “the new method of acquiring a license was done through computer and therefore could not be trusted, since computers were just mere man-made machine which could malfunction at any time and end up causing more harm than good when testing learner drivers”. Mr Ngcobo also went on to say that he was utterly disgusted that officials at testing centers con learners applying for drivers tests by initiating bribes in order to get earlier test dates or preferential treatment. Driving school instructors are no longer allowed to register for their students’ tests and bookings must be done by the applicants themselves.To add insult to injury the new drivers licensing legislation (where people have to go to test centers which are near their area of residence) has come under a lot of criticism mainly from driving instructors who have lost a lot of business because of the new legislation. An instructor who was interviewed said that the main problem he has is that when clients come in to learn how to drive he has to turn their business down because proof of residence is not supplied. Because the clients are not aware of the new legislation, instructors end up losing a lot of business. However he strongly feels that the government is fooling around with legislation without consulting the relevant stakeholders.
After all the pro’s and con’s have being taken into account, and having interviewed a diverse range of individuals on the topic at hand it shows that the new system might have more cons then was initially thought. This is shown in the large number of failures within the Rossburgh testing grounds.

Writer - Siyabonga Nkabinde
Interviewer – Manelisi Ndlovu
- Thaba Mchunu
Researches – Michael Mlungisi
- Matalimo Selebalo

Link To Unlicensed

Friday, October 20, 2006

My Article Topic

How has the transformation of acquiring a driver’s license affected society?

Since I have gotten the go ahead from the editors, I have decided to undertake the task of writing the first article on my own.

As my topic states I will be writing about the implications that the transformation has had on people, and in this case not just any people but people who have experienced the old and new method of acquiring a drivers license.

In getting this information I will interview my brother who has experienced both methods of acquiring a license and my uncle who has worked at a driving school for a long time and has witnessed the transformation. The information gathered from these interviews will be used to write my article

If anyone is interested in writing about this topic, you are more then welcome to join me!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Zuma earns wrath of gays and lesbians

Zuma, zuma, zuma!!! The man never ceases to amaze me. After just days of controversially escaping the wrath of the law he’s at it again, in the thick of things, this time against the gay and lesbian community. Living in a democratic country where everybody is entitled to their opinion and belief, I guess it would be wrong to influence people due to being in a position of power such as Zuma’s, even if it’s for the right cause after you yourself have been involved in scandalous behaviour which you confess publicly. Judging others unethical behaviour is definitely not the best move Zuma could make for anymore publicity, nevertheless it’s nice to see that there is still some common sense in our government or rather possible president.

Accessed 27 September 2006 14h57

Thursday, September 21, 2006