National News/13 January 2022, 07:17am /TI Reporter
South African Driving licence: Image supplied
Bloemfontein – The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) is calling on government to scrap the five-year driver licence system. Outa’s Wayne Duvenage said driver’s licences should be renewed every 10 years.
Speaking to Cape Talk, Duvenage said the current system has all but collapsed.
“We need to review and overhaul the entire process when it comes to vehicles, driving licences, vehicle roadworthiness, and how we manage and police this,” he said.
Duvenage called on the Department of Transport to make life easier for South Africans.
Currently the Department of Transport is dealing with a backlog of almost 400 000 licence cards thanks to a defective printing machine.
According to Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, at least 1.2 million out of 2.8 million licences had not been renewed since March last year.
Duvenage said the issue around the breakdown of the machine, could result in a further extension of the validity of those driving licence cards that have expired.
The AA has also expressed concerns regarding the machine breakdown.
Speaking to IOL, AA spokesperson Layton Beard, said they have been asking the government to extend the renewal period from five to 10 years as this will make it easier for people and give them more time.
He said this will also cut back on admin. He further called for a move to have these systems digitised, including the mandatory eye test needed for the licence card.
“The entire IT system that is running the Driving Licence Testing Centres including the card printing machine cannot be repaired. It needs to be removed and replaced,” he said.
Beard said the vast majority of people want to be legal on the road and do not want to drive with expired documentation.
“The system needs to create an environment for people to be legal on the road. Currently, it does not do that,” Beard said.
Yesterday, Mbalula said he was confident that the current problems will be resolved through a new card system that is set to be introduced.
He said there are also plans to introduce online payment for not only driving licence card renewals but also vehicle licences as well as learner and driving licence tests.