DURBAN - FRUSTRATED motorists have been given a lifeline as Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has gazetted an extension for driver’s licences that expired in the period between March 2020 and yesterday.
Yesterday had initially been the deadline for drivers to renew their licences.
But according to the gazette, all learner licences, driving licence cards, temporary driving licences and professional driving permits that expired during the period between March 2020 and March 31, 2022 are deemed to be valid and their validity has been extended for a further grace period ending on April 15.
This comes after the Automobile Association (AA) and the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) called for an extension of the deadline citing the problems with driving licence testing centres and the online booking system.
Mbalula will today provide an update on the backlog relating to the production of driving licence cards.
In August last year, Mbalula announced that driving licences which expired between March 26, 2020, and August 31, 2021, would be valid until March 31, 2022.
In February, Mbalula indicated the total backlog of licences that would expire by March 31 and that had to be renewed stood at 2.1 million nationally.
Outa thanked Mbalula in a tweet yesterday.
“We welcome him heeding the call from civil society.
“Not sure two weeks will be enough, but thank you Minister.”
Outa and the AA has also called for the government to urgently finalise plans to extend the validity period of driving licences from five to ten years.
The AA said Mbalula in February had indicated that research was being conducted into extending the validity period of driving licence cards from the current five-year period.
“This research should now be completed and is, in our view, the most practical way forward. It’s now incumbent on government to implement this change as a pragmatic way of dealing with driving licence issues now and into the future,” said the AA.