A licence disk the Mercedes S-Class vehicle, valued at more than R1.4-million Rand, registered in the name of the President’s personal diplomatic protection corps - allegedly parked in an exclusive townhouse complex in Sandton. 050808 Picture: Handout/Supplied

Cape Town - Western Cape

vehicle owners could pay an average of 5.3 percent more for vehicle licences from June 1.

Making the announcement on Monday, Western Cape Transport MEC Robin Carlisle said: “Because this increase affects 1 706 663 vehicle owners, I have decided that, while it is not yet required by law, the proposed increase should be subject to a full public participation process.”

Draft regulations pertaining to the proposed increases were published in the Government Gazette on Monday.

This will be followed by a public participation period of four weeks, lasting until March 18.

Officials expect the new fee structure to be implemented from June 1, “at the earliest”.

This will be the first licence fee increase for the Western Cape since 2005.

Licence fees in the Western Cape increased by an average of 10 percent between 2001 and 2005/6, leading to the province having the highest licence fees in most classes of vehicles and trailers in the country.

By 2006, registration and licence fees in the Western Cape were 50 percent higher than in other provinces, Carlisle said.

“In addition to the burden on ordinary motorists, many truck owners registered their vehicles in adjoining provinces where fees were lower, thus significantly reducing Western Cape revenues.”

Carlisle said the Western Cape’s vehicle licence fees for sedans and light vehicles had “come broadly into line with other provinces”, while heavy trucks and trailer fees were in many cases significantly lower than neighbouring provinces.

“The proposed fee increases of an average 5.3 percent is lower than the inflation rate of 5.7 percent,” he said.

An ordinary sedan vehicle owner saved R840 on licence fees since 2006 as result of the ban on increases, Carlisle said.

The provincial government relies on vehicle licence fees to:

* Build, upgrade and maintain the provincially-owned road network.

* Assist municipalities to fund the maintenance of their more strategic roads.

* Continue to reduce maintenance backlog.

Carlisle said Western Cape motorists received “good, quality roads” for their licence fees.

“Ninety-three percent of all kilometres travelled by all vehicles in the province are on surfaced roads rated as ‘good to very good’,” he said.

“This far exceeds the standards in the other eight provinces, many whose surfaced roads are virtually now unusable.”

The draft regulations proposing the new motor vehicle registration and licence fees is available online at www.westerncape.gov.za/transport/pubs/regulation

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Cape Argus