The Automobile Association has once again appealed to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula to extend Thursday’s deadline for the renewal of driver licenses.
The organisation says hundreds of thousands of drivers have still not applied for their new card licenses. The Transport Department has reiterated that there will be no further extensions for driving license renewals to deal with the COVID-9 imposed backlog.
The AA says motorists may also find themselves negatively impacted as insurers may repudiate claims if motorists are driving with expired licenses.
The AA’s Layton Beard says “Given the recent problems with the production of driving licenses cards, and issues around Driving Licence Testing Centres (DLTCs) and online booking systems, we believe it’s unrealistic to expect that this enormous backlog will be cleared by tomorrow; this leaves hundreds of thousands of drivers without the necessary documents to be on the road legally. Unless traffic law enforcement understands these issues and finds a suitable way of addressing them, we may find a massive spike in the number of traffic fines issued to motorists in the next couple of weeks and months.”
OUTA asks for extension of drivers license validity period
Meanwhile, The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has called on Mbalula to extend the validity period of drivers’ license cards from five to ten years. Motorists are raising concerns over millions of driver’s licenses that are continuing to expire.
The Department says motorists renewing their driver’s licenses before the end of March will get an additional three months’ grace on their expired cards.
OUTA’s CEO Wayne Duvenage says, “We’ve suggested a few things. The first is we have done research, met with the minister a few weeks ago and presented it to him regarding extending the validity period from 5 to 10 years. This is the case with many countries around the world and it is very easy to do that. It immediately takes away the problem but government still needs to fix this online booking process, the corruption that takes place, the deficiencies, the costs because we don’t want motorists to find themselves on the wrong side of the law, not on their own doing, but as a result of the state.”