13 March 2018

Namibia: Van Wyk Describes Natis Staff As Unprofessional

The Namibian Traffic Information System (Natis) came under fire last Thursday in the National Assembly.

United People's Movement (UPM) member Johannes van Wyk questioned the minister of works, John Mutorwa, on the alleged "unprofessional behaviour of Natis staff, especially at Gobabis", and the lack of testing infrastructure at a number of its offices.

Natis is a division which was assigned to the Roads Authority and registers vehicles and provides driving licences, amongst others.

Mutorwa replied that Van Wyk's questions were "not very specific" about what he considers unprofessional behaviour by Natis staff.

The minister said over the past 12 months, the Natis office at Gobabis conducted 2 500 roadworthy tests, as well as 4 500 learners' and 3 400 driving tests.

The staff renders services to the Omaheke region, while additional drivers come to Gobabis from other regions, mostly from the Khomas region, due to fewer restrictions offered there.

"This puts a heavy burden on the staff at the Gobabis Natis office, who have to work under pressure," he stated.

However, Mutorwa said the workload should not be an excuse for staff not to exhibit professionalism expected of them.

Since his appointment as new works and transport minister, he has identified service delivery as a problem at various offices.

"I have tasked the Roads Authority to provide me with information on how they intend to ensure the quality of their service levels at Natis offices countrywide, and how to improve where it is lacking," he stated.

The plan includes revamping the customer service charter; fraud awareness campaigns; automated services, including a queue management system, starting in Windhoek; and improvements on signage, amongst others.

These plans will provide results over the years, but some changes such as infrastructure and automated services will depend on funding being available.

"As funds become available, it is the plan to expand the infrastructure to include roadworthy and heavy-duty driver testing," Mutorwa noted.

The testing facilities are provided by the government for the Roads Authority to use, and it falls upon his ministry to upgrade the facilities.

"Government has a Cabinet-approved plan to provide a total of 21 testing stations at various towns across the country," he said.

The new testing stations will be in addition to previous ones constructed at Eenhana, Katima Mulilo, Outapi, Luderitz, Ongwediva, Opuwo and Rundu.

Karibib and Oranjemund are also expected to receive new testing stations if funds become available.


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