Grace period for licence renewal to end soon as system remains strained
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JOHANNESBURG - Motorists who are driving around with expired vehicle discs and driving licences have just two weeks to renew these documents, as the grace period for renewal comes to an end on 31 August. Further to that, government says that no further extensions are on the cards.
There are currently two extensions in force until the end of August. The first one covers vehicle licence discs, roadworthy certificates and temporary permits which expired between 26 March and 31 May 2021. The second extension involves learner’s and driver’s licences as well as PDPs that expired between 26 March and 31 December 2020.
Easier said than done
However, many people have tried and failed to renew these licences, through no fault of their own, the Automobile Association points out. These motorists have faced excessively long queues that come as a result of staff reductions, as well as limited resources at the testing centres. The association said it had received numerous calls and e-mails from motorists, complaining that eye machines, computers and printers were not working at the DLTCs.
“Government acknowledges that there are problems at the Driving Licence Testing Centres (DLTCs) which renew these documents. Yet, despite this, no further extensions will be considered, meaning people are at the mercy of a broken system,” the AA said. “These problems persist and will continue to persist until government takes a bold decision to replace – not repair or revamp – the current IT systems along with increased human resources at DTLCs”.
The AA said there was a need for the current operations at the DLTCs to be expanded, as well as their systems replaced, and it recommended that the private sector be called in to assist.
“People need to be mobile for a number of reasons – work, children, emergencies,” the association added. “If people can’t renew their documents because the system isn’t working, they will not stop using their vehicles, they’ll use them with invalid documents. It’s as simple as that.”