■ Joe Dreyer

Complaints received about an alleged illegal driving school being operated at an open park in the middle of the Pompagalana neighbourhood in Florapark has had residents in that area up in arms. The residents in the homes adjacent to the park claim that the trucks are damaging the curb stones and are causing unnecessary noise in the area. Some residents also fear that the operations of this driving school will attract unwanted elements to the park and have a negative impact on the tranquillity of the neighbourhood.

It started around August last year when a piece of land in the middle of the neighbourhood was scraped clean in order to be used as a makeshift driving course for learner drivers. Since then the National Driving School truck has been seen on that piece of land daily with an instructor and a learner going through the paces of parking, reversing and pulling away with a flatbed truck as part of the code 10 license procedure.

We contacted the municipality about this new trend which has mushroomed all over town and they were not aware of the driving school’s grounds in question. We contacted the owner of National Driving School, Gideon Botha, and he set the record straight.

“The piece of land in question is not a municipal park, but private land which I am renting from a local businessman. The truck I use there is not heavy enough to damage curb stones or cause noise disturbances. I have been providing a service to learner drivers for twenty years in this area and never has anyone complained.”

According to Botha, the culprits behind the damaging of the curb stones are the owners of a drilling company which operates from a property adjacent to the open park. He is also convinced that there are certain people in the community who may have personal vendettas against him and this is the reason for them reporting the matter to the media.

“This same piece of land is used by local subsistence farmers who plant mielies and peanuts right throughout the year, but not one person has said a word about them. Anyone is invited to come and have a chat about this with me, should they have any questions that need clearing up. We are doing nothing but good here.”



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