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Cape Town – Three Cape roadworthy centres to close

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The city plans to shut down three of its eight vehicle testing centres, paving the way for possibly selling its Gallows Hill traffic service headuarters – a prime inner city property.

Not one vehicle has undergone a roadworthy test at the Green Point traffic department in the past two years, despite a costly upgrade to its facilities in 2013.

Chairwoman of the city’s safety and security portfolio committee Carin Brynard said on Thursday there had been a “rumour” that mayor Patricia de Lille and the administration were discussing putting the historically-located property up for sale.

The two other roadworthy testing centres destined for closure are Joe Gqabi in Philippi, where vehicles have not been tested in the past two years, and Hillstar in Ottery, which tests an average of only two vehicles a day.

All the city’s testing centres are Grade A, which allows them to test and examine vehicles of all codes.

Over the past three years, the three centres destined for closure collectively earned the city only R315 000, but cost more than R15 million in direct costs to run.

The city said the proliferation of at least 40 private testing centres had made its centres less popular.

The decision to close the centres will not affect driver’s licence testing.

A report to the committee said that since the upgrade at Gallows Hill, the vehicle testing station – which occupies about 1354 square metres of floor space – had become “dormant and unproductive”.

The Gallows Hill traffic department is fitted with technical equipment which, by law, must be calibrated annually at great cost to the city.

The city’s media department said it could not immediately confirm reports that its property department was considering the sale of Gallows Hill.

Brynard said while the money spent at the facility did not warrant keeping it in operation, she was concerned about the future of the staff.

Two staff are employed at each of the Hillstar and Gallows Hill testing centres and one at Joe Gqabi.

City traffic chief Heathcliff Thomas said the vehicle testing staff could be redeployed to conduct driver’s licence testing.

[Source: Cape Argus/IOL]
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