Pretoria - Every time you renew a vehicle licence, you pay the local registering authority a fee for permission to drive on their roads.
But that renewal is also escalated to the national vehicle database, administered by the Road Traffic Management Corporation, so that it can keep track of all fines issued to you, anywhere in South Africa, for the purpose of allocating demerit points under the AARTO act.
The Corporation charges the local registering authority a transaction fee for each registration which is, of course, passed on to the motorist, so in effect we are paying the RTMC to spy on us… and now that fee is about go up - not just by the usual R6 a year, but almost double, from the current R42 to R72 a year.
In the Friday 6 October edition of the Government Gazette, transport minister Joe Maswangani announced that as from 1 February 2018, an amount of R72 - an increase of R30 - would be added to the renewal fees for all motor vehicle licenses as a transaction fee to be paid to the RTMC.
That means the lowest annual licence fee in the Western Cape - for a motorcycle or scooter - will go up from R168 to R198, unless of course the Province decides to increase the base fee as well, while the lowest rate for a car (tare less than 2500kg) will go up from R276 to R306.
And from 1 February 2018 a biker in Gauteng will have to pay R222 for his license disc, while four (or more) wheeled motorists will pay between R306 and R22 806, depending on the size and weight of their vehicle.