Opening of Transport and Public Works “Red Carpet” Walk-In Centre
It is with great pride that I officially open the Department of Transport and Public Works’ Walk-In Centre on this day.
The centre is another giant step in replacing red tape with red carpets, and providing the public with quality service. Our mission is to develop and maintain appropriate infrastructure and related services for sustainable economic development, and contract tendering lies at the heart of infrastructure.
The Walk-In Centre will be the gateway to our contract tender administration, and will meet all the needs of our clients. Contractors will have access to a dedicated area where they can view tenders available and access tender documentation required in the application process.
The tender office as well as the cashiers office are now located in one place to ensure that the process is more efficient and effective, eliminating further the “red tape” that often hinder the way in which citizens access opportunities provided by government. In the past, contractors would have to transact at various parts of the building, making the process longer and less effective.
As part of Provincial Strategic Objective 1 (PSO1), one of the aims of this Government has been to create an enabling environment that minimises hurdles to sustainable business profitability, investment and job creation in all spheres of government. In doing so, we will be optimising development opportunities, particularly in the property and construction sector.
Property development is of strategic importance economically and socially to the Western Cape. Construction contributed significantly to the provincial economy in 2009, accounting for 5.4 % of provincial Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
In the past financial year (2011/2012), the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works has awarded 1 348 contracts valued at over R2.5 billion. Of those contracts, 1 133 (84%) were awarded to HDI (Historically Disadvantaged Individuals) owned companies valued at over R1.6 Billion and 835 (62%) women, valued at over R440 million.
The Walk-In Centre will also house the following functions from the Traffic Law Administration Directorate:
• Motor vehicle licence renewals.
• Motor vehicle registration and licensing related enquiries.
• Applications for special licence numbers.
• Driving licence related enquiries.
These were functions previously housed at different parts and floors in the building, adding to transaction time, compromised safety and security.
The benefit of this move is the reduced transaction times found when the public no longer have to move between floors in the building to access these services. All parts of their transaction are now confined to the ground floor.
Applications for special licence numbers (for example), in the past, would mean queuing for documentation on the second floor where the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) counter was, going downstairs to the cashiers office to make payment then headed back up to the queue on the second floor to finalise your application.
This process used to take around 40 minutes or more depending on how busy both offices were at a given time. The process now being carried out at the Walk-In Centre, takes someone five to ten minutes to complete as there would not be back-and-forth commuting.
The Walk-In Centre is sophisticated and comfortable with a wheel-chair friendly street-level entrance.
The project was contracted to Status Africa, and was valued at a little over R7 million. The duration of the work was eight months.
I would like to thank and congratulate our Public Works team for a job well done. They continue to be innovative and committed to providing quality infrastructure and client-centric buildings.