File picture: Chris Collingridge / INLSA.

President Jacob Zuma has approved a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) investigation into the alleged fraud at national and provincial transport departments with regard to the registration and licensing of motor vehicles, among others, the Presidency announced on Tuesday.

"The proclamation authorises the SIU to investigate allegations of unlawful or improper conduct relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles; registration of motor vehicle ownership or licensing details; issuing of driving licences, learner’s licences or professional permits; conversion of foreign driving licences and military driving licences to driving licences; issuing of roadworthy certificates or issuing of operator fitness cards," a statement from Zuma's office said.

"The proclamation also authorises an investigation on allegations of entering of, changing, tampering with, or manipulation of data or information on the electronic National Traffic Information System [e-Natis]."

Several media reports suggest the issuing of fake driver and vehicle licences is prevalent across South Africa.