The KZN Department of Transport says it is ready for the launch of the new licence numbering system for the province that will come into effect from December 1.
Spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said the department had tested the electronic traffic information system, eNatis, and confirmed that the system was now able to activate the new numbering system, supported by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC).
He said the first phase of the new numbering would cater for the registration of new vehicles, re-registration of vehicles to new owners, stolen vehicles that were recovered and re-licensed in the owner’s name, and government vehicles.
“The first phase will commence from the 1st of December 2023 to 28 February 2024,” he said.
He said the second phase would start on March 1, when all vehicle owners could migrate to the new system.
“Throughout the 24-month implementation period, motorists will be given 21 months, starting from 1st March 2024, to voluntarily migrate to the new system, after which it will be mandatory,”said Ncalane.
Ncalane said the new number plates would not reflect location or demarcation but would have a continuous numbering system. The licence plates will cost R350 depending on the manufacturer, said Ncalane.
He said the security features would assist in the fight against crime.
“The changes to the new licence numbering system are prompted by the fact that some of the towns have run out of numbers,” said Nalane.
Director of Motor Transport Services, Sbu Ntuli, said the new number configuration would consist of 2 letters, two numbers and then two letters followed by the KZN coat of arms then the ZN suffix.
“In terms of what it's actually going to look like, the numbers for the general population are going to be blue on a white retroreflector surface. Numbers for public transport are going to be black on a white retroreflector surface. We are going to allow people to personalise their numbers with up to seven characters.
“This province is known for having personalised numbers that are green on a white retroreflective surface in colour. Those are going to be phased out and they are going to be blue,” he said.
The department said as part of the process, the final gazette was expected to be published on November 30. It incorporated input and views from stakeholders and the public since the issuing of the first gazette early in November 2023.
Ncalane said the operationalisation of the new system followed consultations with stakeholders, including the RTMC, SABS, and manufacturers of blank number plates.
He said from today, provincial Motor Licensing Bureaus and Road Traffic Inspectorate branches would take part in workshops on the system and its requirements.
“Registering authorities in the province shall also be provided with ongoing support to ensure that the implementation is with limited challenges, if any at all,” he said.