New number plates that have been gazetted by the government and are due to be rolled out next year. Picture: Supplied 100816
New number plates that have been gazetted by the government and are due to be rolled out next year. Picture: Supplied 100816

Number plate changes a hoax, says department

By Tankiso Makhetha Time of article published Aug 11, 2016

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Johannesburg - South Africa’s number plates are not changing - and that’s official.

The Department of Transport has not made a determination, published any notice, or issued a public statement regarding the so-called new number plates.

According to a “Government Gazette” doing the rounds on the internet since last week, the new number plates will be introduced in 2017.

However, departmental spokesman Ishmael Mnisi distanced the department from the notic, saying the department did not plan to replace the number plates with standard designs.

“The document that has been doing the rounds is not authentic, and neither has the department made a determination to the effect reflected therein,” he said.

Mnisi said the source of the document would be investigated and action taken against them.

“We condemn the fabricated document with the contempt it deserves and urge all South Africans to ignore it while we investigate its source,” he said.

'Government Gazette no. 38340' 

The report, which broke on Wednesday morning, was accompanied by a copy of the “gazette” dated January 28, 2015. It was claimed that the department proposed that registration plates be renewed every five years. The gazette, numbered 38430, gave the public four weeks to comment.

The new registration plates would include a four dimensional barcode and the abbreviated name of the manufacturer.

In the new dispensation, black plates would be for public transport, blue for general vehicles and personalised number plates, red for the government and green for diplomatic vehicles.

Transport stakeholders such as Justice Project of South Africa, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse, the Automobile Association and Driving.co.za were shocked to hear of the news.

Howard Dembovsky of Justice Project SA said he believed the source of the document originated from a presentation on the department’s proposed draft amendments.

This was then posted on Twitter by Arrive Alive on 2 August, with a picture illustrating the new-look registration plates. By Wednesday, it had been posted on online news outlets and social media platforms.

Rob Handfield-Jones, managing director of driving skills company Driving.co.za, said the department introduced the notion six years ago, but was moving at a snail’s pace to implement it.

The AA’s Layton Beard said the AA was not aware of a promulgation of the amendment and could, therefore, not comment.

Outa leader Wayne Duvenage said he could not comment as Outa had not seen the notice.

The Star

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