Tag: driver’s licence

SA to get new driver’s licences

Source: MyBroadband

South Africa is set to get new driver’s licences in the next year, Transport minister Fikile Mbalula announced as part of the Driving Licence Card Account’s (DLCA) annual performance plan.

The DLCA, which falls under the Department of Transport as a trading entity, is the sole producer of driver’s licences in South Africa.

The DLCA is currently in the final phase of designing a new South African driver’s licence card.

Mbalula said in the DLCA’s annual performance plan for 2021/2022 the new card is expected to be introduced midway through the financial year.

This means the new driver’s licences may be here later this year or early next year.

The transport minister said the DLCA plans to reduce the turnaround time of the production of driver’s licence cards through ‘atomising’ its productions processes.

The new licence cards will be closer aligned to international practices and incorporate new technologies. The actual design of the licence card will also be changed.

“The introduction of the new driving licence involves a new design of the driving licence card, and the re-engineering of processes to allow for agility and focus on delivering services efficiently and quickly,” the DLCA said.

“The project will allow for the adoption of digital technologies such as blockchain and other related technologies which will form the platform of an integrated transport system.”

The DLCA’s annual performance plan states that one of the group’s key priorities was to modernise the ‘driving licence production environment’.

This will include the purchasing of a new production machine that is capable of printing more modern licences, as well as the introduction of a new secure, high quality, and durable licence card.

While the card will still have to be approved by parliament, it is envisaged that the new design and the procurement of the machine will run concurrently, the DLCA said.

This news follows shortly after Mbalula met with the Gauteng MEC for transport and Gauteng licensing authorities about the challenges related to Driving Licence Testing Centres (DLTCs).

“Driving Licence Testing Centres (DLTCs) provide an important service to our motorists, as they are an important support system to enable mobility,” the transport minister said.

There are, however, pervasive challenges, particularly in Gauteng, related to issuing driver’s licenses.

“The difficulties experienced by citizens in booking slots through the online platform is a serious cause for concern,” Mbalula said.

“We are gravely concerned that preliminary investigations suggest that corruption is the principal driver of lack of availability of booking slots in various DLTCs across Gauteng.”

He said problems at DLTCs impacted the livelihoods of those who require these services to put bread on the table.

“The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic laid bare these challenges, most of which are a consequence of corruption in the system,” said Mbalula.

“The additional pressure has amplified these challenges and requires of us to move with speed and deliberate focus in addressing these.”

The aim of the meeting, Mbalula said, was to take stock of the challenges and agree on decisive interventions that effectively address the challenges facing Gauteng and its DLTCs.

The interventions must deliver a system that improves efficiency, eliminates corruption, and modernises processes to eliminate the need for end-users to queue at DLTCs.

“Post our engagements, we will unpack the modalities of these interventions and commit to firm time-lines on the rollout,” Mbalula said.

“We are paying particular attention to the rollout of online services in a manner that improves efficiencies and minimises the time the end-user spends in a queue.”

The ultimate end goal is to eliminate these queues once the full bouquet of online services has been successfully rolled out, the transport minister said.

 

Source: MyBroadband 

South Africa’s driving licence renewal system continues to frustrate motorists, and “something sinister” may be behind some of the problems.

This is according to Jacob Mamabolo, Gauteng MEC for public transport and roads infrastructure, who was speaking to ENCA about the problems.

Many South Africans are trying to renew their driving licences which expired during the lockdown when the renewal centres were closed.

The Department of Transport published a directive to address the backlog in driver’s licence renewals to offer motorists a grace period.

All driving licence cards that expired between 26 March 2020 and including 31 August 2020 are now valid for a period ending on 31 January 2021.

This grace period gives motorists some relief, but it has also created a backlog in renewals which are now challenging to resolve.

The fact that driving licences which expired after 31 August do not enjoy the same grace period is putting further strain on the system.

The driving licence renewal problems are so severe that the Automobile Association (AA) has called for urgent changes to the process.

The AA has also called for an immediate moratorium on fining motorists without renewed driving licences.

“It’s an absurd situation where motorists cannot renew their discs or cards and are then stopped and fined for not having done so,” the AA said.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) wants Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula to change the driver’s licence validity period from five to 10 years.

“This should save the SA consumer and government time and money as well as improve the administration and manageability of the renewal process by the state,” it said.

It also asked for a more efficient online application process for driver’s licence renewals which precedes the actual renewal.

This, OUTA said, will allow for more effective service delivery and flow between the appointment, eye test, and licence delivery.

Something sinister
There is an even bigger concern related to the driving licence renewal system – government officials who hijack the system.

Mamabolo said the online booking system is a big frustration to motorists trying to renew their licences.

The government has subsequently analysed the data, revealing that there is a problem with how officials are managing and handling the allocation of slots.

He said many slots are allocated to services like new driver’s licence applications, but not to drivers’ licence renewals.

“That tells you that the way the officials are allocating slots on the system is not correct as it makes them underperform in renewals,” he said.

He said they are now investigating why officials are deliberately allocating more slots for new driver’s licences.

He dismissed speculation that bad training may be behind the problem, saying it reveals something far more worrying and sinister.

While not directly mentioning corruption, Mamabolo hinted at something “dodgy” going on at driving licence testing centres (DLTCs).

“We need to investigate and check whether there is something sinister to the trend of lower driving licence renewals,” he said.

Most DLTCs are under the control of municipalities, and Mamabolo will now discuss the issue with the respective mayors at these municipalities.

Steps to resolve the problem
Mamabolo assured motorists that they are acting to resolve the problems with driving licence renewals, which include:

Issuing a directive to increase the allocation of driving licence renewal slots.
Commissioning an investigation into potential corruption in the allocation of slots.
Looking at increasing the number DLTCs and explore other options like using mobile facilities.
“What the people are going through is definitely unacceptable,” Mamabolo said.

 

By Ishani Chetty for Cape Town Etc

Ongoing problems with the application and issuing of learner’s and driver’s licences are being experienced across the country, with the Western Cape and Gauteng being affected the most.

City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith said that those waiting to receive their new licence cards can expect further delays, “as the situation at the Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA) in Pretoria has yet to see any significant improvement.”

Driving licence cards are issued by the DLCA, a trading entity of the National Department of Transport.

Four months of industrial action in July 2018, as well as damage to the interface system between the card production facility and the National Traffic information system (NaTIS) after its annual maintenance, are said to be some of the cause of these nationwide delays.

A third issue hindering the process is the poor state of the Live Enrollment Units (LEUs), systems that are used to perform eye tests on learner’s and driving licence applicants as well as those applying for licence card renewals. The LEUs are in dire need of a software upgrade and as a result are not functioning well.

“The technical assistance required from the DLCA is lacking and further compounds the problem. Without eye tests, licence and card applications cannot be completed,” said Smith.

Applicants are not allowed to provide letters from optometrists and must complete the eye tests at the testing facilities.

The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works has been urging the National Department of Transport, the DLCA and the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) to address the problems.

Western Cape Transport and Public Works MEC Donald Grant said that the National Department of Transport has not kept their word.

“To date, various commitments have been made but little progress has been made by the National Department of Transport to effectively address these very urgent issues.”

Driving licence card renewals before the the card’s expiry date cost R140, while applicants who apply to renew their licence cards after the expiry date must pay R140 plus an additional R45 for a temporary licence. Temporary licences are only valid for six months and can be obtained while drivers are still waiting for their new licence card.

Motorists may continue to drive for a maximum of three months as long as they are equipped with their application receipts or old cards. If their temporary licence expires before they receive their new card, they will have to apply for a second temporary licence but will not be charged for it.

Members of the public can check the application of their status by SMSing their identification number to 33214, a system that has been set up by the DLCA.

Applicants will receive one of these responses:

Status Message
Order not received and unknown ID

DLCA does not have an application for this ID number
Order received by CPF

Dear [Initials],[Surname] – your order has been received and is awaiting production
Order in production

Dear [Initials],[Surname] – your order is currently in production
Order produced and posted

Dear [Initials],[Surname] – your order cards has been produced. Kindly wait for collection SMS
Smith said the City is committed to resolving the issue and alleviating long waiting periods locals’ frustration.

“We are aware of the frustration that is being experienced daily as a result of this failure by the National Department of Transport and its agencies, but we would like to assure the citizens of the Western Cape that we are doing all that we can to mitigate the inconvenience, and find a permanent solution to the issues currently plaguing the system.”

By Gabriella Steyn for IOL 

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) will soon launch a new online booking platform for South Africans to get their driver’s license.

First launched in the City of Tshwane, the system allows users to make an appointment to renew their driver’s license and also offers a delivery service that will deliver you a new card to you through MDS Collivery.

The RTMC said that waiting in long queues will soon be a thing of the past.

“The platform will ease the process of applying for vehicle driving licenses and combat corruption by minimising the manipulation of the process by unscrupulous officials,” said the RTMC in a statement.

The RTMC said that the current process requires applicants to queue for between 140-180 minutes at a testing station. “This process is also fraught with corruption as officials at the licensing centres have an incentive to withhold available bookings for lucrative payments from willing applicants,” said the RTMC.

They believe that this platform will promote efficient service delivery.

“When it is launched later this month, the solution will benefit the public by removing barriers to access, eliminating fraud and corruption, and optimising business operations.”

The system will first be available to people making their applications in Gauteng before it will gradually expand to other parts of the country.

Bookings for Gauteng can be done through The Online Company SA.

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