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New number plates 'won't be costly'

Johannesburg - A proposal to standardise the look of licence plates is a security measure that will not be too costly for motorists, says the Department of Transport.

Proposed amendments to the National Road Traffic Act were published in the Government Gazette on April 9.

National government has proposed a new number plate system for the country.

One of the changes would see licence plates standardised across the country and remove the power provincial MECs have to decide on the style of their respective plates.

Standardisation would reduce security problems and allow for centralised control of the manufacturing of plates, the Department of Transport says.

“This will include, among others, the issue of duplicate, cloning and non-compliant number plates,” according to department spokesman Tiyani Rikhotso. Security features on the new plates would also indicate the name of the manufacturers and embossers.

The department says this would enable it to pinpoint where cloned or non-compliant plates originated.

“We will not be requiring motorists to all go and change their plates. There will be ample time given to them to change to the new set of plates,” Rikhotso adds.

Howard Dembovsky, chairman of the Justice Project SA, has said he supports the move to standardise licence plates, but would like to see the year the car was registered included in the number/letter sequence.

Dembovsky said this would help traffic authorities to enforce the laws more effectively, as certain sections of the National Road Traffic Act applied only to vehicles registered after certain dates.

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