Backlash from motorists, civil society over driver’s licences

Source: IOL

Civil organisation AfriForum says although the Transport Department has extended the validity period of driving licences, it is not a solution to the deep-rooted problems at the department.

The department extended its validity to three months after sustaining pressure from the civil organisation.

AfriForum and other members of civil society put pressure on the department to clear up the backlog of driving licence renewals.

On Monday the department announced that licences of motorists, who applied for their driving licences before March 31, 2022 (the deadline), will be valid for a further three months.

This arrangement is only for motorists who are in possession of their old driving licence and can provide slips as proof of payment for the renewal application.

Shortly after the initial announcement, AfriForum instructed its legal team to send a lawyer’s letter to the department in which the organisation demanded the grace period be extended.

Reiner Duvenage, campaign officer: strategy and content AfriForum, said the huge backlog was caused by a number of delays at the department in the first place.

“Although this announcement brings temporary relief to motorists, it is not the solution to the deep-rooted and systemic problems at the department,” said Duvenage.

The department said it is well on track with the production of outstanding driving licence cards.

“The bottleneck experienced between November 2021 and January 2022 will be cleared off by April 2022. The renewal backlog that was experienced because of the Covid-19 pandemic grace period will be cleared off by September 2022,” the department said.

The following regulation will apply in due course: “Motorists who apply to renew their driving licence cards before March 31, 2022, will have their driving licences valid for a further 3 months on condition that they are in possession of their old driving licence cards. They must also have proof of fees paid for the application to renew in the form of a receipt.

“The regulation is also applicable to those who have applied to renew their driving licence cards since February 25, 2022, and before the end of the grace period of March 31, 2022. Their driving licence cards will also be valid for a further period of three months.”

The department further said if one applies after the expiry date, one would be required to apply for a temporary driving licence.

“Motorists are therefore encouraged to apply to renew their driving licence cards before the expiry date to avoid incurring any possible additional costs,” said the department.

Meanwhile, with the recent dispute by driving schools having been resolved, the department reported that Driver Licensing and Testing Centres (DLTCs) are now in full operation to assist the public.

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