[Editorial Note: previously the story had included licence disks as being included in the extension. In a tweet the Minister announced a correction that vehicle licence disks are not included in the extension and this has since been corrected.]

Transport Fikile Mbalula has updated and corrected the terms of a government gazette issued over the extension of licences. In a tweet the Minister announced a correction that vehicle licence disks are not included in the extension. Only learners licenses, driving license cards, temporary driving license cards and professional driving permits that expired from 26th of March 2020 to 31st of December 2020 are deemed valid for a grace period ending 31st August 2021.

Mbalula says extending the validity of learners, drivers and professional driving permits allows for capacity at government offices to process vehicle licence disks.

These expired permits are deemed valid until 31 August 2021.

Mbalula signed the directive on 30 November and it has already been gazetted.

Licence renewal centres across the country have experienced an influx of South Africans needing to renew their permits resulting in congestion and backlogs as centres keep up with COVID-19 regulations.

Earlier this week, Mbalula announced the department’s road and safety plans for the festive season. He issued a stern warning to people who drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol during the festive season.

“The law enforcement authorities will heighten (the road and safety) operation through multi operations, joint operations and strengthen the emphasis on fatigue management, reckless driving, intoxicated drivers, alcohol abuse and drugs, road rage and patrol vehicles to clamp down on distracted driving, dangerous overtaking and excessive speed. In a country that has seen a spike in the use of recreational drugs, this will constitute one of the focal areas during the festive season and beyond. “