The Department of Road Transport and Safety (DTRS) is embroiled in controversy following a serious shortage of laminating paper that has affected the production of driver’s licenses country wide.
Police warned those who have not been issued with driver’s licenses not to use receipts as proof of driver’s licenses even though they have passed their road tests.
Hundreds of new drivers who are expected to be issued with licenses have, for more than three months now, been using receipts and Omang to drive.
“I passed my road test about two months ago but even today I have not been issued with a driver’s license I so much wanted,” Tebogo Tlhogi, a new driver without a license, told The Telegraph.
He said he went to the transport offices and was told that the laminating paper was out of stock and is only likely to be available at the beginning of next year.
“This should not be our problem,” he complained, “but the way they do things now, it seems as if we are bothering them when we ask about our licenses.”
Another angry woman, Tiny Boloko, said, “How long should we wait to get our licenses?” She said that DTRS long anticipated that they would run short of paper and could, therefore, have ordered it well in time.
“It is now pointless that people should be encouraged to get licenses when the responsible department cannot avail them. Some might even take an advantage and drive without licenses and this will contribute to road accidents,” Boloko said angrily.
She appealed to the department to find ways on how they can get the paper “as this is a serious inconvenience”.
The Director of Road Transport and Safety, Orapeleng Mosigi, declined to comment on the matter beyond saying, “We have issued a press statement to both Botswana Television and Radio.”
The Deputy Director of Traffic Division – Botswana Police Service, Katlholo Mosimanegape, stated that sometime in September, they received a letter from DTRS to the effect that they had temporarily exempted drivers who either want to renew their driver’s licenses or replace lost ones because of the prevailing situation.
He said it is, however, a criminal offense to drive with a receipt while awaiting the driver’s license.
He too warned those who have not been issued with licenses to wait until the problem is sorted out.