New Smart Driving Licence Cards
South African Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula has announced the replacing of current driving license cards with smart license cards.
However, those card will not be different to the new ID card but with secure design features and will comply with international license standards.
Earlier this year, the department of Transport accelerated interventions to deal with license backlogs and other related issues. Since, great progress has been made. We will give an update on this and other related issues tomorrow morning.
“The new card will be piloted from 1 November, 2022 to the end of March 2024. The current licence card and the equipment used to produce it will be decommissioned on 1 April, 2024 with a five-year period of transition from the old card to the new card,”He said
Minister Fikile Mbalula added by saying that, the current license cards would be valid until 31 March, 2029.
The backlog of driving license renewals was cleared as of July. “We have been able to reduce the turnaround time for card production to pre-Covid levels and successfully reduced the waiting period for driving license cards from 58 working days in April 2020 to 10 working days in July 2022,” Minister.
“We have determined that 67% of those who have not renewed their driver’s licenses were between the ages of 25 and 50 years,” he insisted.
Mbalula said an investigation found a majority of those not renewing their licenses had infringements. He added that the proposal to Cabinet was to extend the renewal period from five years to between eight and 10 years.
Chief executive of Organization Undoing Tax Abuse Wayne Duvenage said more efficient systems were needed.
“However, efficiency should not cost us money. It should save money,” he added.
Duvenage said he was concerned that the shift to new technology would cost motorists more money. He also said he couldn’t understand why the minister was taking the issue of the license renewal period to parliament when he had to power to implement it himself.
Democratic Alliance (DA) spokesperson for roads and transport Fred Nel said the DA welcomes an improved enrolment system to deal with vehicle license bookings.
“The demand for slots currently outstrips the supply so any improvement was welcome. We also welcome the new driver’s license card,” he said.
Nel called on Mbalula and government to extend ordinary vehicle license card validity to at least 10 years.
“With proper information systems, driver behavior can be monitored to determine whether a licensed driver should be retested, have a license suspended or terminated,”