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Drivers’ licenses printing resumes

Ntsebeng Motsoeli

MASERU — After weeks of boycotting to print drivers’ licenses, Paragon Business Products (PTY) LTD has resumed the service.

The Sunday Express understands that the company stopped production after the department of traffic in the Ministry of Public Works and Transport failed to pay an undisclosed amount of money owed to the company.

This paper can confirm that over the past few weeks the department has had to issue out cash receipts to motorists to use on the road pending their license application while talks with Paragon Business Products (PTY) LTD ensue.

However, the receipts issued as a substitute to pending drivers’ licenses do not bear any proof that authenticates the bearer as a legitimate applicant of the pending document.

They carry no photograph of the said applicant hence they can easily be carried by the wrong persons.

As such, the receipts are only recognised as legitimate substitutes for pending licenses in Lesotho but not outside the country’s borders.

Meanwhile, public transport business operators said the stoppage had hampered their business greatly.

They said they have had to cancel their cross border business trips to South African since that country’s traffic police do not recognise the cash receipt as a substitute for a driver’s license.

Taxi owner, Lebohang Moea, said they lost business when they had to cancel or postpone trips to South Africa or Botswana because their drivers did not have the necessary documents.

“We have clients who travel to SA or Botswana. They have built relationships with certain drivers because they trust them with their lives. Now when such a driver does not have a valid license and cannot drive them out of the country, the clients cancel the trips and we lose business,” Moea said.

A motorist identified only as Motlatsi said he was sent back home by South African traffic cops because he could not prove that the receipt was his.

“They said they wanted my license and nothing else. I had to come back home and I lost business,” Motlatsi said.

Other drivers said they lost job opportunities because they did not have valid licenses.

Meanwhile Paragon Business Products (PTY) LTD confirmed that indeed the production of licenses had in the recent past been suspended pending payment of money owed by the traffic department.

Paragon would not be drawn to reveal exactly whether they had been paid the money owed.

This paper has established that although the service had resumed, the two parties are still discussing the future of the project.

Attempts to get a comment from the transport department proved futile as several phone calls to the information office were not answered.


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