Penalties loom for motorists who failed to renew licence discs
Durban - MORE than 33% of KwaZulu-Natal vehicle owners will face late payment penalties and possible traffic violation fines of up to R1000 from today for licence discs that expired between March and May during the lockdown.
In July, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula extended the validity period of vehicle discs, permits and roadworthy certificates that expired between March 26 and May 31 for a period ending on August 31.
The 21-day grace period ended on Tuesday.
The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said motorists who failed to renew vehicle licences by the end of business on Tuesday would incur additional costs for late renewals.
RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane said 66% of motorists had already renewed their vehicle licences in the province.
He said the case made by members of the public to extend operational hours is “weak”.
In response to the announcement on RTMC’s Facebook page, a member of the public said: “Ridiculous as the offices cannot cope with the demand. We need a 7-day service provision to clear and manage the backlog. Extend hours until 18h00 daily.”
Zwane said they were not aware of any challenges in the province that could delay renewals.
“The deadline will have no impact on staff availability as people can do the renewal at Post Offices and licence departments,” he said.
Another person posted: “You people are offline more than you work, or you close after a certain amount of people pass through yet we must suffer.”
Following complaints on social media that some people may not be able to meet the deadline due to the system going offline for hours, Zwane said they had technicians available to attend to system-related issues.
The department said penalties would be calculated at 10% of the annual licensing fees per month.
“They also run the risk of receiving traffic fines of up to R1000 if stopped by traffic officers while operating an unlicensed motor vehicle on a public road.”
The vehicle licences of almost 2.5 million South Africans expired during the period when the lockdown was first implemented.
“A total of 1701724 (69%) took advantage of the extension and renewed their licences by the end of last week,” RTMC said.
The department urged the public to take urgent steps to renew their discs in order to save money.
Meanwhile, as many vehicle owners run to their nearest traffic stations, reports of long queues across Cape Town are leaving many vehicle owners disgruntled.
Vehicle owners need to have the necessary documentation on hand when renewing their licences.
To renew a car licence you are required to take your renewal notice which you received via the post, as well as payment, acceptable identification as well as proof of address to a motor vehicle licensing office.
According to the National Department of Transport, discs that expired on August 31 as well as motorists who received a three-month Covid-19 grace period for licences that expired on March 31, April 30 and May 31, were to have been renewed by yesterday.
Motor trade vehicle numbers/trade plates for motor vehicle dealers are to be renewed by November 30.
Driving licences, learner licences and roadworthy certificates are to be renewed by January 31. RTMC said no interest or penalties would have been charged if motor vehicle licences were renewed on or before yesterday.
The DA on Monday called for the validity of vehicle licences to be extended, after receiving many complaints relating to the registration of vehicles that couldn’t be finalised before the deadline.
The party said the 90-day grace period from June 1, which owners were granted to have licences renewed, was not enough given the complexities at traffic offices and because so few operated at full capacity.
At traffic offices a limited number of customers are allowed in at a time, and physical distancing must be adhered to.