Gauteng MEC for Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure, Jacob Mamabolo, has expressed satisfaction with the progress that has been made in dealing with the backlog for licence renewals over the past two weeks.
The Department of Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure has been working with the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and the Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA) to address the backlog.
“I am pleased with how the department and our partners have responded to the measures we have introduced. In just two weeks, we have substantially increased the number of available slots,” the MEC said on Monday.
He made these remarks after a meeting to assess progress made following the 16 November 2020 decision for Driver Testing Licensing Centres (DLTCs) in the province to dedicate 70% of booking slots and capacity towards driving licence renewals.
Over the month of November 2020, the department noted an increase in the availability of booking slots to more than 80 000, up from over 50 000 slots that were available in the month of October.
More than 51 000 people managed to renew their driver’s licence cards in November compared to 31 000 in the month of October.
“We also note the recent extension of the grace period for individuals whose driver’s licence validity was affected by the COVID-19 lockdown between March and August 2020. We, however, urge driver’s licence holders not to wait till the late hour to renew their driver’s licences,” Mamabolo said.
Government recently granted a further grace period until next year for learner’s licences, driving licence cards, temporary driving licences and professional driving permits that expired at the beginning of the lockdown.
All learner’s licences, driving licence cards, temporary driving licences and professional driving permits that expired during the period that commenced from 26 March 2020, up to and including 31 December 2020 are deemed to be valid and their validity periods are extended for a further grace period ending on 31 August 2021.
As part of the new measures to deal with the backlog, the department together with its partners will introduce mobile DLTCs across all five developmental corridors of the Gauteng City Region.
In addition, the department has extended the working hours for all provincial DLTC’s, allowing them to open on Saturdays and Sundays.
“We are aware of the trend that seems to be developing where people fail to honour their appointments. We are availing more capacity for the renewal of driver’s licences so that we decisively address the backlogs. As such, our DLTCs will be open during the festive season,” the MEC said.
The department is also finalising the appointment of a company that will conduct a forensic investigation into allegations of corruption and bribery at DLTCs.