‘Inhumane’ treatment at Bedfordview Licensing Office

Editor – I experienced the most horrific and inhumane service at the Bedfordview Licensing Office On October 24.

Two very sweet pensioners, both disabled with walking aids, were forced to stand in the parking area for over 40 minutes in the increasingly hot sun.

The one elderly gentleman, purely from exhaustion sat on a rock, but could not get up on his own.

Community members who were standing in line had to assist him to get up.

The elderly gentleman was allowed to enter when we complained and I started taking photographs.

Also read: Licence renewals – what you need

Unfortunately, the other man was not considered old enough or disabled enough despite being in his 80s.

Once we were allowed up to the office, which I have now called the White House, the attitude from the staff employed at the licensing department was disrespectful and borderline inhumane.

They were insulting and they could not be bothered to answer questions.

The gum they chewed was louder than the voice they used to answer questions with.

The lady who was supposed to ensure the forms were correctly completed kept running into the office to answer her phone.

I am still puzzled as to why they have a sign to turn off cellphones but this doesn’t apply to employees, only to taxpayers?

I was horrified with the way the staff had an air of superiority and thought they were so much higher than the rest of the people standing there.

Also read: Licencing woes in Edenvale

Someone should tell them that kindness and humility are more attractive than scorn and harsh words.

Six months ago my daughter went to get her licence renewed at Bedfordview and while undergoing the eye test the lady refused to speak to her in either English or Afrikaans.

She would only speak her home language.

I don’t have a problem when you are communicating with someone who understands your home language but surely in a place of business English is recognised as the official language?

What does our Constitution say?

This lady refused to speak to my daughter in English, eventually, a very kind community member translated for her.

The eye test lady thought this was hysterical but I don’t, this behaviour shown by the eye test lady is insulting, intimidating and disrespectful.

I counted 300 people at approximately 9am.

Let’s say that 100 of those are employed at R100 per hour, and another 50 are employed at R300 per hour.

The economy lost approximately R75 000 in the three hours that we waited at the licensing office.

That amount is just from the Bedfordview office, how many other licensing offices are there in South Africa?

How many other people were caught up in a spider web of inefficiency and disrespect?

When I left after 10am there were considerably more people waiting in what came to mind, a cattle line for abuse?

How much money is this country losing because of inefficient systems run by inefficient employees who have no idea whatsoever how to treat another human?

Surely the government has to wake up at some stage and realise that it is their systems and their employees who are constantly giving this country a bad name and actually costing the economy money.

In the past, I brushed this off and said, only in South Africa, but this has now gone too far, you do not mess with the elderly.

They are the taxpayers who contributed to the success of South Africa, they are the generations of engineers who built roads and teachers passionate about education.

The last thing I want to say is respect, learn it, learn the meaning of it and I pray to God that you use it for the sake of our community and the sake of our country.

Dean Nel

EDITOR’S COMMENT – A request for comment was sent to the City of Ekurhuleni On October 25 at 10.34am, requesting comment by October 26 at 1pm.

At the time of going to print no comment has been received.

  AUTHOR
Stephan Lehman

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