The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse ( OUTA) has called on the Transport Department to fix any underlying issues related to online bookings for driving licences.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Friday announced that the renewal grace period for learners’ licences, driving licence cards, temporary driving licences and professional driving permits has been extended to March 31, 2022.
Mbalula says two new Driving Licence Testing Centres operated by the Road Traffic Management Corporation in Midrand and Centurion will open their doors in October.
The centres will operate seven days a week to help clear the backlog of renewals.
“Capacity challenges which put which put tremendous pressure on the DLTC’s in processing renewals of the driving licences – corruption of officials entrusted in the system, where online booking is used, who block slots and sell these to those prepared to pay bribes,” says Mbalula.
Some motorists, whose licences expired during the lockdown period, have complained that they were unable to making renewal bookings, with the August 31 deadline looming.
OUTA’s Chief Executive is Wayne Duvenage says, “The problem is that if we don’t fix the underlying causes related to the online booking system, the corruption, the testing centre inefficiencies then we will just have the same problem next year.”
The Automobile Association (AA) has welcomed the extension of the grace period for driving licence renewals.
AA Spokesperson Layton Beard says, “We are naturally happy that many of the solutions we have been proposing for some time have been considered. Among these is the establishment of more DLTC’s, the introduction of mobile centres and kiosks at busy centres, extended operating hours of the DLTC’s, the ability of DLTC’s to accept online payments and the submission of eye tests by optometrists directly to eNATIS.”
Minister Fikile Mbalula on interventions around driving licence testing centres: