Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says less than 50 percent of motorists whose driving licenses have expired have applied for a renewal.
The deadline for the renewal of Driving Licence cards has been extended until the 15th of this month. Thursday was D-day for citizens to renew their driving licenses before the original grace period ended.
The Automobile Association was among the organisations calling for an extended deadline due to recent problems with producing driving licence cards and issues around Driving Licence Testing Centres and online booking systems. Mbalula says the situation is slowly improving.
“The number of driving licence cards for whom the grace period applies for which renewal applications have yet to be made stands at 1 427 426. This is a reduction from 2 813 016. This means that only 49 percent of the affected motorists have applied for the renewal of their expired driving licenses,” says Mbalula.
Mbalula is urging motorists who have missed the deadline to renew their licenses to do so by the 15th of April. He says licencing departments now will be open 7 days a week in a bid to accommodate those who have expired licenses.
“We have agreed with the MEC’s that they will extend the operating hours of the DLTC’s and open over weekends starting with this weekend and I urge the media to check on this and the public as such. All DLTC’s starting from this weekend will be opened until 2pm on Saturday and Sunday and will be working overtime 7 days a week,” Mbalula added.
The Automobile Association says motorists may find themselves negatively impacted if their licence isn’t renewed, as insurers may reject claims if motorists are driving with expired licenses.
“Given the recent problems with the production of driving licence 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. 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,” says the AA’s Layton Beard.
VIDEO: Automobile Association earlier called on government to extend the renewal deadline for driving licences: