E-mail received by SAIDI on 16 September 2013 12:53 PM
Hope that you can help me with a urgent matter.
I’m working for Sasol Secunda Fire brigade, and during the past year we had sent some of our firemen to Mpumalanga driving school in Leandra. Ever since then the people are failing because the driving school doesn’t give the people the proper training according to the money you have to pay.
Secondly I booked a license test for my wife with the very same company 3 weeks ago, I had to pay R950 for 3 lessons only which was acceptable to me as my wife can drive and already is in possession of a learners license. This was one of their winter specials that we took up. Last week my wife went there for her first lesson and did well, unfortunately all the students were complaining about the car being barely roadworthy. I went to the owner of the driving school last week on Thursday and asked him if my wife can use her own car for the last two lessons and the test. He said that he have no problem with that. He also said that he would send someone with a license to collect her this morning as for the previous lesson. Unfortunately this morning nobody collected her. I asked the driving school what happened. I phoned the owner again and when he heard my voice he just hung up. I phoned his secretary Chantal and asked what the hold up is as my wife still must go for 2 lessons before Wednesday for the test at 13:00. She then said I must phone the owner as she does not know what the problem is. When I said that I rather want my money back she just said there is no refund.
1) I’ve got the proof of the advertisement of Mpumalanga driving school where it clearly states 3 lessons before the test with their car for R950. (Kindly send us the proof. We will publish it to try to avoid other members of the public from being robbed. )
Thank you so much, somewhere somebody must do something to prevent this type of people from carrying on operating.
2) My wife only received one lesson before the test on Wednesday the 18/09/13 – This is completely unacceptable! This is what SAIDI is attempting to stop. There is SO much corruption in the driving school industry! No wonder our road fatality rate is sky-high!
3) We have tried, numerous times, to make an appointment telephonically for my wife, then it was just said to us my wife must come in personally to make an appointment. Mpumalanga driving school made the appointment for Wednesday without my wife being there in person. Are there double standards for this? (It is illegal for a driving school to make an appointment on behalf of a client. The applicant must apply in person, and undergo an eye-test too.)
4) How can students go for lessons in a vehicle not fully fit for license? (It is definitely unacceptable for anyone to have to be trained to drive in an unroadworthy vehicle. It is also unacceptable that the Drivers Licence Testing Centre permits the use of any unroadworthy vehicle for the test. There seems to be corruption involved here.)
5) Where do I as a member of the public go to with fraudsters like this, they let people fail just to make more money out of the public? We hope to help here since we have not had help from any other department we have appealed to for many years, including the National Department of Transport, Provincial Department of Transport (Gauteng), RTMC, Public Protector, Human Rights Commission, Department of Community Safety Services (Gauteng), National Law Enforcement Commission etc. etc. and too many others to remember for 37 years.
We do have hope of help at last!
All we can say is thank God for the new Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, who is already working very hard to address multiple problems in the Transport Department, and also Gilberto Martins, new Acting CEO of the RTMC who are like a breath of fresh air in an otherwise corrupt situation! MEC Ismail Vadi is setting up the Gauteng Forum for Driving Schools to oppose corruption too. In the Western Cape we have had such a good experience too. More about that:
18 September 2013 10:40 PM
Dear Mr … (name removed for confidentiality)
Firstly, thank you for writing to SAIDI to ask for help with this problem. It is such a pity you have had a bad experience with this driving school. Are they the only school in your area? What are the others like?
Unfortunately we are not authorised to discipline bad driving schools. That is why we advise the public to choose our members only, because they are under our Code of Conduct and we can do something about them.
- If you go to the Police, they will say it is a civil case. If you go to the Small Claims Court, it can take a long time before your case is heard. We know of a case where the instructor was ordered by the Small Claims Court to refund a woman, but he never did, and no-one is too interested to help her. Nor were we when we discovered that she had paid extra, knowing she was trying to buy a licence.
- When we write to the National Department of Transport, Provincial Department of Transport and the RTMC, we get no help there either! (The driving school industry is still not regulated, in spite of the road fatality rate being the highest or almost the highest in the world!) As a non-profit making company, we really need an excellent pro-bono lawyer.
- We get so many complaints about bad driving schools. We have a section on our website where we copy and paste your email without your name or contact details. We can sms the driving school and tell them we will remove it when they refund you, unless they can give us a satisfactory explanation for not refunding you. Would you like us to do that? If so, please send his numbers so I can contact him. This is new. Have a look and let me know if you wnat me to publish his name and driving school on the internet. www.saidinational.org Blacklist
19 Sep 2013 05:48:15 +0000
Thank you for the prompt reply.
Yes it is a pity that all these type of crooks get away with this type of scam. I had looked on your site for registered instructors and the nearest one is in Balfour, about 80 km from us. (So sorry! We invite legal dedicate driving instructors in that area to join us to offer their help please. Are there any?). Luckily my wife did pass her license yesterday with my help and her own car.
Pat I would like if you can publish his name on your site and let him know, it came to my attention again yesterday at the traffic department that other people are also unhappy about the way he tried to get money out of them for nothing. One guy pitched up to write his learners and he wasn’t booked for this, and he did pay R1500 to this chap.
The owners name is Thys and his number is 0728651999
His secretary which I suspect is his daughter – 0843393783