What SAIDI is NOT:
- It is very important to note that SAIDI is NOT a social club for any specific group of Driving Instructors.
- We are definitely not an exclusively “white Driving School Association,” as is so often assumed. We often hear that said or implied.
Vivienne Westray was appointed as National President from 1977 to 1996
Enos Mhlongo was appointed as National President from 1996 to 2009
Pat Allen was appointed as National President from 2009 and presently serves in that capacity.
- That idea is complete nonsense. It was never the case, right from the start of SAIDI, and we have the membership lists to prove it.
- It might have been a rumour started to cause division though….
- We are a Training Institute to promote a professional driver education and training industry to ensure the development of well trained and safe defensive drivers in South Africa; SAIDI strives to ensure the highest standards of integrity within the driving school industry.”
- It is very important that all South Africans are trained to drive exceptionally well, to the highest standards of defensive driving, by competent, legal driving instructors, in their own first language if we are to effectively address the horrific road fatality statistics effectively. So one defensive lesson, to acquire the “defensive driving” skill on a CV does not work either.
- For this reason, provided driving instructors meet our strict criteria, we welcome all language groups of driving instructors as SAIDI Members!
- We strive to set standards in the industry, so please do not ask us to register illegal instructors. We cannot! It is against our Constitution and business ethics. The SAIDI motto is “Integrity is our Driving Force,” so we will never even vaguely consider accepting unregistered driving instructors as members.
- By being strict about this specific matter we have unfortunately made many enemies, which is regrettable, but we are adamant that that is how it will stay. After all, how can a person who is operating illegally as a driving instructor, dare to try to educate the public to obey the law when they are not willing to comply with the law themselves?
- What is even worse, how can the authorities turn a blind eye to it? At times, there seems to be far too much sympathy with criminals rights in the country at the moment. What about protecting the rights of law-abiding members of the public?
- We do not necessarily want to exclude those “instructors” who earn their living by teaching driving illegally when we say this, although we definitely do not condone it. We are prepared to help them to gain self-respect by becoming qualified, upgrading their standard, then enlisting them under our Code of Conduct to protect the public, as well as protecting the professionalism of our industry. (Terms and Conditions of membership must apply, such as excluding those who are addicted to alcohol misuse, drive unroadworthy vehicles, abuse drugs or are guilty of violent acts, such as sexual abuse of any kind, extortion, bribery, corruption or bad attitudes which could be transferred to vulnerable clients with devastating results.)
- We support any legal driving instructor in the country who has taken the necessary steps to become a registered instructor, and is willing to work honestly, decently and in accordance with our Code of Conduct. (See our Constitution under Legislation – the Code of Conduct is at the end.) For information, we are busy re-drafting our Constitution, to suit today’s times, but will always set standards.
- If training is required to become a driving instructor, it can be arranged.
What we cannot be held responsible for, at this stage:
Since it is not compulsory for every driving instructor to belong to an overseeing body, like SAIDI, we are not appointed to reclaim monies fraudulently obtained by dishonest driving instructors.
We do not have access to a National Register of Driving Instructors. In fact, it is doubtful if any such list even exists.
What we do hear very frequently is that people have lost considerable sums of money to instructors who ask for payment in advance, who give no receipt for monies paid and never give the lessons that were promised. This is fraud!
Please read “Guidelines” before selecting a driving instructor:
This is exactly why we have supplied “Guidelines” to assist you when selecting your driving school.
Please read the extract below from someone in a Government Department. It was received after we forwarded a request for help on behalf of one such victim in August 2013, who lost R4500.00 to one of the many thousands of fly-by-night operators:
· “Unfortunately we do not regulate the driving schools at this point in time. Chances are that the only way this person will get assistance is by reporting this matter to the Police (who, we find, generally refuse to help, saying it is a “civil” matter). If this school indicates that the cost covers obtaining a driving license, this might be seen as possible fraud and corruption (true!), or by going via the small claims court with a civil claim (which may be hard to prove as there is no receipt for the moneys paid and no evidence thereof) (which usually means a 9-month delay with no guarantee of successful results), or to their local newspaper (there are so many of these cases, even the newspapers find it hard to defend the victims any more without it being a boring repeat of so many other cases.)”
Our advice – Don’t compromise on road safety!
- To be perfectly honest, in some cases people unintentionally invite this fraud, because they go for the cheapest options, not realizing that professional driving instructors have to charge a fair price for the quality of driving instruction they provide with good, insured, roadworthy vehicles, an intimate knowledge of the K53 official test standard, years of practical experience, etc.Their time is valuable. They are professionals!
- Please do not ask our members to teach your child the “tricks” to pass. This is an insult to our members’ professionalism. Please don’t phone and say you want to “use” us. That makes us sound like something we are not. You could say you would like to make use of our services. It does sound slightly less offensive.
- Please do not leave it to the last minute to start learning to drive. Regular, frequent, thorough driver training is what makes for a lifetime of excellent driving by building confidence and competence.
- All good instructors will be happy to train you or your child over a longer period of time to make it more affordable and comprehensive. It is seldom possible to remember everything in one or two sessions.
Our members have voluntarily joined SAIDI, and have agreed to supply us with full identification records for YOUR safety and protection.
We at SAIDI protect their confidentiality and rights:
We refuse to give out membership lists to circulate spam! If a list is made available, it was definitely not given by us to anybody except a Government Department, which is entitled to ask us for a list of members. We trust that they will not make lists of our members available to anyone who does not have a right to them.
We represent members at Government meetings at:
The National Department of Transport,
On TV and other forms of media such as various radio interviews and by responding to requests for newspaper articles on various related topics.
- For example, Business Day www.bdlive.co.za/life/motoring/2013/08/15/road-safety-should-you-trust-your-driving-instructor
- Radio Interview: Radio ifmlive in PE dated 2013.08.15 in connection with Coega providing free simulator training for people who would not otherwise be able to afford driving lessons. Thousands of driving instructors in the Eastern Cape are reportedly angry that their livelihood is being threatened by this initiative. We recommended that the Manager have a meeting with all the driving instructors and offer the work to those who are legal. Illegal ones should first become legal before demanding their rights!
As stakeholders in the driving school industry, we are in favour of responsible moves to regulate the driving school industry.
We at SAIDI are co-operating with the Government to make this a reality as soon as possible. One reason is, it is the only way to stop the influx of illegal instructors who are presently robbing the public, while upgrading the general standard of driving instruction in the country. Lives are at stake here. Don’t be angry about this – Your loved one could be the next “casualty.”
We respect the authorities who take their mandate to reduce road carnage seriously.
Unfortunately, it frequently happens that just when we begin to make progress, there is a re-shuffle of office-bearers, and everything we have been working towards stops.
Sadly, countless South Africans pay the price of this lack of commitment to road safety with their lives, their broken bodies, their poverty as a result of crashes.
Hopefully laws will soon be passed which will regulate the driving school industry.