Driving test centre says ‘no bribe, no driving licence’ Driving test centre says ‘no bribe, no driving licence’
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Driving test centre says ‘no bribe, no driving licence’

Corrupt instructors at a South African driving test centre have been cashing in on learner drivers by telling them they won’t get a driving licence without a bribe. Book Theory Test Today digs deeper into this scandalous operation.

The Joe Gqabi Driving Test Centre in Philipi, South Africa has been branded a ‘disgrace’ after revelations surfaced of unscrupulous ‘driving instructors’ demanding bribes to guarantee a driving test pass.

Book Theory Test Today says: “This story goes to show that corruption across driving test centres is not limited to the UK, it’s a problem in all nations that perform driving exams.”

Wannabe drivers taking their test at this particular driving test centre were ‘interviewed’ prior to their exam and told that a payment of 3000 Rands (South African currency) would guarantee a pass regardless of their driving performance. The amount asked for excluded the R150 per hour payment for driving lessons.

Learners willingly bribe

Book Theory Test Today says: “It’s not just the instructors contributing to the corruption; a number of learner drivers are actually instigating bribes in order to get a driving licence at this driving test centre. Some actually seek out the centre specifically to guarantee themselves a test pass.”

One Philipi resident said: “I bribed an instructor because I’d already failed my test three times and I knew they’d ask for a bribe anyhow, so I just beat my invigilator to it.”

A spokesperson for the driving test centre said: “The learner drivers, who were tested in the centre’s yard, had to avoid hitting the poles because the chief inspector was watching. But, once outside the yard all mistakes were simply ignored.”


In the event that a pole was knocked down by a learner driver, the bribe money was refunded and a further test was arranged, subject to paying another fee of course.

Learner drivers, an inspector and examiners all confirm that this is common practice, but asked that their names remained anonymous.

One traffic official said: “I’ve worked at the Joe Gqabi Driving Test Centre for 15 years and make a good amount of money from bribes. On the morning of a test, I know who has paid the bribe and who has not. We fail first-timers if they have not paid. My share is usually R300 to R400.”

Huge problem

One driving school operator said that it’s the students who offer bribes.

Marius Luyt, speaking on behalf of the AA, said: “Bribery is still a major problem that needs to be stopped. My organisation will address this issue on all relevant platforms where possible. Fraudulently licensed drivers are not tested to ensure they know the rules of the road. Therefore, such a driver is a danger on South African roads and puts other road users’ lives in danger.”

Transport MEC Donald Grant’s spokesperson, Siphesihle Dube, said: “The department welcomes any information that would help root out corrupt officials. We’re busy addressing the problem where and when incidents occur.”

Pat Allen of the South African Institute for Driving Inspectors (SAIDI) said: “Evidently there’s a great deal of corruption in the driving school industry. SAIDI is aware that many officials take bribes. We believe greedy examiners are largely responsible for this.”

“It was recently reported to me by a member of another association that they are seeing envelopes being passed forward to cashiers at a mobile testing centre after being told that no appointments were available, only to hear a corrupt driving instructor being called forward and allocated an appointment,” Allen added.

Richard Bosman, the city’s director for safety and security, said: “I take any allegations of bribery extremely seriously. When officials are caught, they are dismissed and criminal complaints are lodged with the police.”

Bosman went on to urge members of the public to report suspicious activities: “With your help, we can ensure that anyone who tries to cheat the system is brought to book,” he said.

Book Theory Test Today offers an intermediary service assisting clients with booking a UK theory test, or practical test, at test centres across the nation. The service also supplies resources to help you prepare for your theory test – Ready to take your theory test? Book your theory test online today…

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