South Africa’s new driver’s licence card system is scheduled to go live in October 2022, according to a Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA) tender document.
The tender document outlines the new card’s design and the production system’s requirements — including a timeline.
According to the specified timeline, the winning bidder will have three months from January 2022 to manufacture and assemble the system, after which it will be installed from April 2022.
The smart driver’s licence personalisation system will begin a testing and piloting phase in July 2022 and then go live in October 2022.
According to the document, the tender value is expected to exceed R50 million (including all applicable taxes).
Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse CEO Wayne Duvenage believes there is only one machine that can print driving licence cards to avoid giving corrupt officials a gap to flood the country with fraudulent driver’s licences.
To counter the backlog, the government plans several measures to ease it, including interim changes to temporary licences and rolling out a new licence card.
“I’m going to be announcing the temporary measures with regards to the temporary licence, but we are moving ahead at full speed with the new driver’s licence card, which I will also announce in public,” said transport minister Fikile Mbalula.
The plans include bringing a new driver’s licence card printing machine to South Africa.
“The machine that produces driver’s licences is the old machine. No other country in the world is still using that machine,” Mbalula said.
“That is why we are producing a new card.”
“There is going to be a new card and a new machine, which is at par with the developed world,” Mbalula added.
According to the DLCA, the new licence cards will be aligned with international practices and incorporate new technologies. The licence card design will also be changed.
It added that the project would allow for the adoption of digital technologies such as blockchain and other related technologies, forming the platform for an integrated transport system.
“The introduction of the new driving licence involves a new design of the driving licence card and the re-engineering of processes to allow for agility and focus on delivering services efficiently and quickly,” it said.
The only hurdle to introducing the revamped driver’s licence and procuring a new card printer is obtaining Cabinet approval, according to Mbalula.
The minister said he had asked President Cyril Ramaphosa for an opportunity to fast-track the process at any Cabinet meeting.
Mbalula made a separate announcement relating to implementing a new online payment system to allow South African motorists to renew and pay for their vehicle licence discs and driver’s licence cards online.
According to Mbalula, the service will be launching soon. It will support motor vehicle licence disc and driver’s licence card renewals and payment for learner’s and driver’s licence tests.
Motorists will also be able to have their licence card delivered to their door, the minister said.
In addition to a redesigned licence card, South Africa will introduce a new mobile or e-driving licence.