South Africa still struggling with massive driver’s licence backlog

South Africa is still battling to deal with its massive driver’s licence backlog.

The Western Cape’s Department of Transport has warned that members of the public waiting for their driving licence cards are likely to experience delays in the issuing of these documents as the Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA) in Pretoria is still battling to address the backlog.

While the processing of applications for new licence cards and renewals is decentralised, all cards are issued by the DLCA – a trading entity of the National Department of Transport.

This delay affects applicants all over South Africa, with provinces like the Western Cape and Gauteng being most adversely affected.

Issues with the system date back to July 2018 following four months of industrial action, which was then followed by damage to the interface between the card production facility and the National Traffic information system (NaTIS) after annual maintenance.

“The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works has been in constant engagement with its counterparts at the National Department of Transport, the DLCA and the RTMC to urgently address the issues that hinder our ability to provide this service to members of the public,” the department said.

“To date, various commitments have been made but little progress has been made by the National Department of Transport to effectively address these very urgent issues.”

Major backlog

Speaking to BusinessTech, Cape Town’s executive director for safety and security, Richard Bosman said that the driving licence cards backlog has jumped from 66,000 to 199,000.

“The matter is beyond the control of the respective traffic departments rendering this service as the responsible department, the DLCA (Driving Licence Card Account), had to deal with a prolonged strike that led to the backlog,” he said.

“The strike by the workforce is now over but it did not make any inroads into the backlog. Hence the City issued the media release to clarify the backlog with the cards.”

He added that the backlog affected all applicants and not only those motorists who applied for renewal in 2018.

Check your licence

The DLCA has implemented an SMS shortcode (33214) that allows driving licence card applicants to check the status of their applications.

You need to send your ID number to 33214 via SMS and will receive a return message with one of the following:

Status Message
Order not received & Unknown ID DLCA does not have an application for this ID number.
Order received by CPF Dear [Initials].[Surname] – your order has been received and is awaiting production.
Order in production Dear [Initials].[Surname] – your order his currently in production.
Order produced & posted Dear [Initials].[Surname] – your order card has been produced. Kindly wait for collection SMS.

Now read: Car licence transaction fees to increase in South Africa

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South Africa still struggling with massive driver’s licence backlog