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Jumping through ‘traffic’ hoops

Those of us who have gone down van Zyl’s pass in the Kaokoveld have done something out of the ordinary. The secret is to take it slowly and carefully. If you trash your 4x4 it can be a long walk back to almost anywhere or nowhere.

For enduring pure irritation this does not measure up to the rocky road through the Vredenburg traffic office. Having been the proud owner of a Daihatsu Move for 20 years, I decided it was time to move it.

Full of optimism, Grace the willing buyer and I, the willing seller joined the queue at the licensing office. When we got to the counter, I proudly produced twenty motor vehicle licence receipts which I had kept in a safe place.

The lady behind the counter is unimpressed. She gives me a contact number for Wesbank and tells me I must get a letter from them to confirm that I have fulfilled all my hire purchase (HP) commitments. They have no evidence that Wesbank have ever needed to repossess the vehicle and surely it is the responsibility of the finance house to notify the licensing office when the hire purchase agreement is paid up.

I reiterate that I fulfilled all my financial commitments to Wesbank 15 years ago. She should believe me, she’s a woman and therefore born with an inbuilt lie detector. My wife is definitely kitted out with such equipment. Whenever I tell my wife I’ve been somewhere she knows for sure I’ve been somewhere else.

All this pleading gets us nowhere. Discretion is the better part of valour. If the lady sets the in-house bouncer onto us it is not likely to be a soft landing.

Grace offers to contact Wesbank on her cell. The conversation is rather protracted. Apparently my HP agreement has been shunted off to their archives. The Wesbank fellow tells us to be patient. He’ll put the bloodhounds onto it and he’ll do the best he can. A letter from Wesbank dated 25 April 2018 arrives by courier. It says that Wesbank has no interest in my Daihatsu.

Armed with this missive, I revisit the licensing office. Once again our lady is not impressed. The letter does not have all the necessary info on it. There is only so much of this nonsense I can take. I tell her she must phone Wesbank immediately, because this now has nothing to do with me. I look daggers at her. Some of them are quite pointy. She gets the message and phones Wesbank. She has arranged that Wesbank will email her what she needs and when it arrives she will phone my wife.

It does arrive, but now it is passed the expiry date of my licence (30 April 2018).

Apart from having to fork out for an updated certificate, I had to pay to re-licence my car for another year. Through no fault of my own, I have had to shell out R637. I am not a happy camper!

It is not surprising that high jacking is prevalent in this country. Change of ownership takes place in seconds. The backyard fellow who takes care of the paperwork, attends to his task with due diligence. Should a roadblock official spot a spelling mistake on the disc, he is likely to wave the new owner on. More than likely the fellow has a wife and kids.

Law-abiding citizens are forced to jump through hoops, but hijackers who attack teachers seem to be treated like royal game.

Has our value system crashed or is this just a temporary hiccup?

Alan Carnegie,
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