R78-million Sebokeng license centre left to rot

R91-million needed to fix it, according to opposition MPL

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The unfinished Sebokeng Driver’s License Testing Centre. It was supposed to open in 2021. Photo: Chris Gilili

  • The Sebokeng Driver’s License Testing Centre (DLTC) was supposed to open in 2021.
  • Work started in 2015 and R78-million was spent on it, but the centre has been vandalised and run to ruin.
  • An opposition member of the provincial legislature says another R91-million has been budgeted to rebuild it.

The Sebokeng Driver’s License Testing Centre (DLTC) was supposed to open in 2021. Work started in September 2015 and R78-million was spent.

Answering questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature in 2021, then MEC for Roads and Transport Jacob Mamabobo said a company that was initially employed to construct the centre experienced cash flow issues around 2018 and this resulted in a formal dispute.

“During the dispute resolution process, the contractor abandoned the site which led to the site being vandalised. The contract was subsequently terminated in August 2019 for abandoning site and poor performance,” said Mamabolo.

“It is worth nothing now,” says Kingsol Chabalala (DA) MPL for eMfuleni North. “The provincial government says it will need about an additional R91-million to refurbish it, which means the money has gone down the drain.”

The centre was meant to help people in Sebokeng and surrounding areas who were struggling to get licences. Residents have to spend about R100 to travel to Vanderbijlpark to write their learners licence test.

We visited the site on Tuesday. Overgrown grass and weeds cover the area. Pipes and stacks of building blocks stand unused. There is rubble inside and the ceilings and the bathrooms have been vandalised.

According to Chabalala, there are security guards but vandalism is ongoing.

A guard, who wished to stay anonymous, said they have been guarding the place since 2020, but no one has ever come to check up. He said three guards are on day shift and three on night shift.

“We were excited when construction of this licence centre started, because we thought finally as young people from this area we will have an essential service close to us,” said Lufuno Mutshinya.

He had to get his licence at Vanderbijlpark and “spent a lot of money going up and down”.

“It’s sad to see it crumbling to the ground now, though it was finished. Vandals have stripped everything inside the place and it doesn’t look safe,” he said.

The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development referred GroundUp to the Department of Roads and Transport.

Questions sent to that department to clarify the budget needed to fix the centre have gone unanswered.

TOPICS:  Local government Transport

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