Durban – Driving school operators marched to the Durban City Hall on Tuesday, protesting about the lack of facilities for driving schools and heavy fines imposed by the municipality.
About 300 driving school owners handed a memorandum of their grievances to mayor James Nxumalo, said Sibongiseni Jali, the chairman of the Inner West Driving School Associatio“There is no land for driving schools to operate from or to teach drivers. Other industries have parking. The taxi industry has a taxi rank, even rickshaws have parking bays.
“We have no parking area. If we park, we are fined and sometimes our cars are towed. We have to go to the municipality and pay fines – we pay R700 per day per car.”
Jali said the municipality had been promising to address the issue for the past three years.
“They have taken too long; they keep saying they are addressing the matter. We used to operate on a ground near the Albert Luthuli hospital and we were told to move.
“We operated near Kings Park, and we were also told to move because the Moses Mabhida Stadium was going to be built there,” he continued.
Another driving school operator agreed that lack of land was their chief issue.
eThekwini Municipality spokesman Thulani Mbatha said the city had identified a site in Wills Road, on the lower Berea, for use by driving school operators.
“The space is currently used by the driving schools that were moved from the site near the Central Fire Station. Several other sites across the municipality have also been earmarked,” he said.
Mbatha said they were working with the Provincial Department of Transport to create a database of driving schools in the city “that we are able to provide facilities where they are needed”.