Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
10 Aug 2016
2:03 pm

SA to receive new number plates

Citizen Reporter

According to a report at the 2016 TruckX conference, Arrive Alive stated the new number plates were due in 2017 and the plates must be renewed every five years.

New number plates for South Africa

Despite the department of transport’s notice on the 28th of February 2015 about new national number plates, Arrive Alive recently tweeted a reminder that South Africa is due to receive new number plates in the near future, reports MyBroadband.

The draft regulation amendments were opened to public comment at the time of their publication.

According to a report at the 2016 TruckX conference, Arrive Alive stated the new number plates were due in 2017 and that the plates must be renewed every five years.

What the new number plates looks like

The new number plate will be an embossed aluminium plate, with the background printed under a coat of a retro-reflective surface.

The plates will contain:

  • The South African National Flag.
  • The word “GAUTENG” for the province of Gauteng, “LIMPOPO” for the province of Limpopo, and so on.
  • The sequential number shall be on the bottom left of the number plate.
  • SABS certification mark.
  • Four-dimensional barcode with the QR code that contains the registration number of the manufacturer of blank number plates.

The different categories of plates as depicted in the draft regulations are shown below.

Personalised and Government plates

Personalised blue

Public transport plates

Public transport

General plates

General plates

Diplomatic and SAPS plates

SAPS Plates

The latest on the number plates

MyBroadband spoke to Justice Project South Africa chairman Howard Dembovsky who said, as far as he knows, the regulations for new number plates were yet to be promulgated.

When they are, they may differ, depending on how comments on the regulations are handled by the transport minister, he said.

Dembovsky said there were positives and negatives associated with the new number plates.


  • Metal number plates don’t melt as easily as plastic plates in a fire/accident.
  • Retro-reflective sheeting used on number plates generally has a lifespan of five years – replacing plates every five years will keep them visible.
  • Standardising South Africa’s number plates is way overdue. South Africa is a country, not a federation of states.


  • The QR barcode will most likely only be of benefit to the companies who generate them or sell equipment to read them. It is unlikely most traffic officers will have “4D QR barcode” readers.
  • There is no indication whether licensing authorities will charge an additional fee for number plate renewal. If they do charge, this can only be regarded as a stealth tax.
  • Motorists will have to spend more on their vehicles, but if you amortise the cost of a set of new plates (around R250) over 5 years, no one should complain too much.

“The JPSA does not think this is a bad idea, however, it would be nice if our authorities could come up with a concrete plan to combat corruption and fraud, which is the biggest killer on South Africa’s roads today,” said Dembovsky.