The City of Cape Town managed to license and register the more than 1,3-million registered vehicles in Cape Town in only six months, between June 2020 and December 2020.
This is a doubling of the number of vehicle transactions normally done per month, and that would typically be done over a year. This exceptional transaction rate was a response to the backlogs created by COVID-19, which is a country-wide phenomenon. Primarily 228 staff members have managed this feat amid the most trying of circumstances. The City has not received additional equipment from the National Government to enable it to work faster through the National Traffic Information Services (Natis). The City, as an agent of the National Government, receives allocated Natis terminals and the vehicle-related transactions can only be done on these terminals and programmes. COVID-19 will continue to impact licensing operations across the country.
The City is looking at all options within its power to assist motorists during this extraordinary time. Discussions on ways to increase Natis terminals and infrastructure continue with the Western Cape Government and the National authorities.
‘Some options that we have already started implementing is the opening of another customer service office in a shopping mall in Lansdowne, in addition to the Promenade Mall and Table Bay Mall offices. The City is also looking to expand capacity in its Kraaifontein office. This would positively impact operations and lead to more transactions at that office.
‘The City has requested the lead licensing authority, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), to provide additional Natis terminal and printer capacity so that City staff can deal with the increased volumes of online renewal transactions. This will speed up the time taken to process online transactions and will encourage members of the public to follow the online route, which is safer and more convenient.
‘Importantly, COVID-19 will continue to have a material impact on our operations. We will continue to have unplanned and sudden office openings and closures to ensure the safety of our staff and customers. The COVID-19 regulations will continue to affect staff complements at times and we will continue to experience the intermittent national system problems that we have seen over the past year. These problems affect the City’s service delivery, but are unfortunately not within our control.
‘The dedicated City staff will continue to go above and beyond the call of duty to assist customers. We ask motorists to please be proactive: check the expiry date on their licence discs, and start the renewal process at least a month or two in advance of their due date or within the grace period. This will make a huge difference to all and enable motorists to successfully apply for their licences online via e-Services.
‘We thank our customers for their support and understanding in what continues to be a trying time for all,’ said the City’s Executive Deputy Mayor, Alderman Ian Neilson.
July/August 2021 peak
The City expects a July/August 2021 peak in renewals, as many licences will expire on 31 August 2021, with a due date of 22 September 2021. This is due to the COVID-19 lockdown extension given to motorists whose motor vehicle licences expired in March, April and May 2020.
- Customers are reminded that fines are nationally determined and the City may not unilaterally write off fines.
- Please plan for a turnaround time of approximately four weeks currently from application to receipt of the licence when applying online via e-Services. This is due to high volumes, but the City hopes that the plans that are under way will help to reduce the turnaround time in the future.
- Please plan ahead.
- The length of queues at motor licensing offices have been reducing in general. However, it may still seem long due to the social distancing and other COVID-19 measures that are in place.
- If customers must visit a customer office in person, please remember that there is COVID-19 screening at the entrances and a limited number of customers are allowed in at a time due to COVID-19 regulations. Social distancing is required and must be adhered to and masks are compulsory.
- Motorists only need their ID for motor vehicle licensing and registration renewals.
- Motorists are reminded that they are not allowed to drive an unlicenced vehicle or a vehicle where a valid licence disc is not displayed.
- Motorists are further reminded to update their cell phone numbers and email addresses when applying and paying for their licences online and at licensing offices as they will be receiving renewal reminders via their cell phones or email addresses.