Faizel Patel
3 minute read
28 Apr 2022
2:26 pm

1.3 million expired licences – no more extensions, only fines, says Mbalula

Faizel Patel

Mbalula said currently the country has a backlog of 1.3 million expired driving licence cards that have yet to be renewed.

Image: Top Auto

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said there would be no more reprieves and extensions after the driving licence renewal grace period lapses on 5 May.

The minister was briefing the media on Thursday at the Grasmere Toll Plaza.

Mbalula said currently the country has a backlog of 1.3 million expired driving licence cards that have yet to be renewed.

“Analysis of the backlog by age of drivers who have not renewed their driving licence cards show that motorists between the ages of 25 and 50 years constitute 68% of drivers who have yet to renew their licence cards.

“This is the age cohort that is mostly driving both as professionals and private citizen going to work and places of leisure. Our analysis further shows that an average of 25% of motorists in Gauteng, who book licence renewals slots online do not show up for their bookings. In the Eastern Cape motorists who do not show up for their booked slots stands at 30%,” Mbalula said

Mbalula said motorists must understand that they have to utilise their booked slots to help the department tackle the backlog in a meaningful way.

“We urge these drivers to ensure that they honour their commitment and take up the slots, which slots would ordinarily have been used by others who have difficulty in finding slots closer to where they live.”

No more extensions

Mbalula said motorists who have not yet applied for a new licence would be penalised.

“With only a week left to the final deadline for the extended grace period for renewal of driving licence cards that expired between 26 March 2020 and 31 August 2021, we encourage all those who have yet to come forward to renew their licences to do so without delay. There will be no further extension of the grace period beyond this period.”

Mbalula said to deal with the expected increase in the demand for services, the department is working with the Road Traffic Management Corporation, Provincial and local authorities to implement an extensive plan to assist those who will be seeking to renew their licences.

This plan is already operational in all Provinces and entails the following elements:

  • Extending daily operating hours of the driving licence centres by two hours during the week and opening on weekends, both Saturday and Sundays, until 31 May 2022.
  • Allowing walk-ins in addition to online bookings in Gauteng and Eastern Cape, where online bookings are operational, until 31 May 2022. In essence, this means that a motorist who shows up at a DLTC to renew their licence will not be turned away merely because they have not made a booking on the online system.
  •  Provinces will undertake a robust communication drive to encourage motorist to renew their licence and calling on those with online bookings to honour their slots.
  • Enhancing the processing and production of driving licence cards through the introduction of the smart enrolment project which will provide online driving licence renewal capability.

Mabalula said the department has overcome the capacity constraints that delayed the production of driving licence cards due to the machine that broke down last year.

“The Driving Licence Card Account trading entity is now working 24-hour daily shifts to clear the backlog of driving licence cards.”

Mbalula said law enforcement authorities will be extremely ruthless in dealing with drivers who flout the law and drive without a valid driving licence card and cannot produce evidence that they have renewed their licence and are awaiting its issue.

ALSO READ: Mbalula says ‘peculiar circumstances’ led to fewer deaths on road during Easter