Pretoria – Gauteng motorists will be getting new number plates in 2023, Premier Panyaza Lesufi announced on Tuesday.
Lesufi stated that the new number plates were a component of the government's plan to completely overhaul the licensing system to enhance their efforts to combat crime.
Lesufi was speaking at a media briefing to discuss a number of new reports, one of which was about allegations of fraud and corruption at the driving licence testing centres in the province.
“It’s part of overhauling and ensuring that we fight these types of crime because a motor vehicle is a source of crime. If we don’t have the necessary details of the right owner and how that vehicle is going to be utilised and who’s utilising it and where that vehicle is, our fight against crime will be defeated."
He stated that traffic department officials engaged in fee dumping and manipulated licensing procedures, and it was discovered that some optometrist certificates required to obtain licences were fraudulent.
Lesufi explained that fee dumping occurs when licence applicants are permitted to proceed with the process despite being behind on payments. This is done through collusion with officials.
Lesufi also presented findings made by the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) around licensing departments.
Lesufi said that the SIU also found that applicants, driving schools, examiners, and other officials at licensing departments collude together to manipulate the queue, where applicants can get ahead of the line by going through driving schools, and also engage in other serious forms of corruption.
On the new number plates, Lesufi did not specify the nature of changes that motorists can anticipate..