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Anger over Cape's new licence rules

Some motorists at Hillstar traffic department in Ottery say they have not heard of the new by-law when renewing licences. Picture: Jason Boud / Independent Media

Some motorists at Hillstar traffic department in Ottery say they have not heard of the new by-law when renewing licences. Picture: Jason Boud / Independent Media

Published Nov 23, 2015

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Cape Town - Motorists are outraged about not being properly informed about new regulations involved in renewing car licence discs, which has meant some having to make two or even three trips to municipal offices.

Among the regulations, motorists have to provide proof of residence when renewing their discs. A number of applicants in some of the city’s traffic departments and municipal offices felt the city should have done more to tell people what documentation to bring with them.

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Changes to car licence renewal  

Makhosi Qwenga from Khayelitsha said he had to make two trips to the Bellville traffic department before his disc could be renewed. “I’m a businessman and the time I spent going back and forth to this place has lost me money. When I arrived in the morning I was told I needed to bring proof of address. This was all new to me.”

The city issued a media statement documenting the changes and posted information about what to bring when renewing a licence disc on its website.

However, for most residents who don’t have access to the internet, the information is unavailable. When the Cape Argus visited the licensing offices, there were no visible notices informing applicants about what to bring.

TURNED AWAY TWICE

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Faizel Philander went to renew his disc in Ottery and said he was turned away twice.

“I was told when I arrived in the morning to bring proof of address and I did, but now I’m told it’s old and I must get another one. I had no clue I needed to bring this document and how old it has to be.”

Philander said he saw people being turned away because they didn’t have the required documentation.

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“This is so frustrating because people are sacrificing a day’s work just to be turned away,” he said. “At some of the departments, motorists stand in long queues for hours before they get help, only to be turned away.”

Godfrey Mabasa said people would keep getting turned away until the city did more to inform people about the new requirements.

“It was easy the first time I did this, but now it’s become an inconvenience,” he said. “They didn’t even tell the public and even inside the traffic department there is nothing that says this is what you need to bring so people can avoid queuing for nothing.”

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NEW REGULATIONS CAME INTO EFFECT ON NOVEMBER

The city urged motor vehicle owners, especially those with vehicles up for renewal this month, to take note because the issuing of a disc could be refused if the requirements have not been met.

On its website, the city said: “The new requirements entail the provision of proof of a person’s particulars – full names and identity document and the residential and postal address for verification when:

“There is a change of the person’s particulars or change of address.

“When an application is made for a national traffic information system service at the city’s motor vehicle registration offices or at a driving licence testing centre.

“This would include, among others, applying for a driving licence, applying for the renewal of a driving licence, applying for a learner’s licence, applying for a vehicle licence disc, renewing a vehicle licence disc, and registering a vehicle.”

Deputy mayor Ian Neilson said: “We apologise for any inconvenience that this new regulation may cause. The city will do everything in its power to accommodate motorists during this transitional time.”

The city said renewal notifications would not be posted for vehicle licence discs which expire in November and December.

Discs that expire on November 30, 2015 are renewable by December 22, 2015, and discs that expire on December 31, 2015 are renewable by January 22, 2016.

Cape Argus

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