Driving licence renewal breather for now, but concerns remain
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JOHANNESBURG - Motorists with expired licences can breathe a sigh of relief, for now. This follows the recent announcement by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula that all driving licences, including temporary ones and PDPs, which expired between 26 March 2020 and 31 August 2021, will still be valid until 31 March 2022.
However, there are concerns that the measures announced to alleviate the situation might not be implemented properly by the new deadline.
“The interventions that the Minister announced must now be put in motion,” the Automobile Association urged. “Our concern is that the time frames are tight, and that many motorists may be stranded without the necessary renewals, forcing yet another extension in March.
“We are naturally happy that many of the solutions we have been proposing for some have been considered, but now it’s all a question of implementation,” the association added.
Among the interventions that the department plans to put in place are the establishment of more testing centres (DLTCs), particularly in Gauteng where the backlog remains dire, and the introduction of mobile centres and kiosks at busy centres.
DLTCs will also have extended operating hours, including Saturday operations in most provinces, and they will in theory be able to process online payments.
The RTMC also hopes to put in place a Memorandum of Understanding with the medical industry, which will pave the way for motorists to use private optometrists.
Furthermore, the department claims to have made progress with the deployment of eNatis equipment at DLTCs.
The licence renewal situation in South Africa is dire, with 1.2 million licences needing renewal. Gauteng accounts for the highest number of unrenewed licences, at 437 819.