Community Municipal

Minister apologizes for driver’s licenses backlog

Michele du Plessis

The Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande, reported in January about the issuing of drivers licenses backlog. “I am monitoring the contingency plan to recover production time lost during the Department of Transport’s labour dispute with employees who were contracted to the Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA). This untimely dispute also occurred during the annual production maintenance period when production machines were serviced,” Minister Nzimande said.

The affected employees resumed their duties in December, pending the finalisation of the dispute at the General Public Service Sector Bargaining Council (GPSSBC). To recover the lost production time, the DLCA has been implementing a contingency plan to adhere to standard production practices and reduce the waiting period for the cards.

“Since July 2018 to December, we have received over 1 million card orders and have printed over 700 000 cards. The current production backlog sits at 324 000 cards. These orders have been prioritised to be printed in the next three weeks,” confirmed Minister Nzimande.

The first category of drivers exempted from fines is those who renewed their driver’s licenses before three months of the expiration of their driver’s licenses. The drivers in this category are those who are expected to produce their valid receipt given upon renewal because at the time of their application their driver’s licenses were still valid or had not expired. This category must not apply for temporary driving licences.

The second category of drivers exempted from fines is new applicants for driver’s licenses provided they already applied for the temporary driver’s licenses. This category is automatically required by law to apply for temporary driver’s licenses upon passing their driver’s test. They are not required to reapply for a temporary license if or when their temporary license expires. They are also fully liable for payment for their temporary licenses.

The third category of drivers is those who applied for their driver’s licences post-expiration. This category is required by law to apply for a temporary driver’s licence. However, if the temporary driver’s licences have expired due to the delays on the part of the Department of Transport, they do not have to reapply but must produce their expired temporary licenses when required to do so.  They are also fully liable for payment for their temporary licenses.

The general principle is that those whose temporary driver’s licenses have expired need not reapply until they receive their licenses. They must produce their valid or expired temporary licenses on request by traffic officials.

“I would like to earnestly apologise to the citizens for the inconvenience they have been subjected to through this ordeal,” said Minister Nzimande.

The Department of Transport has issued a directive to provincial and municipal traffic authorities not to penalise motorists who complied with the prescripts of the application and renewal of their driving licences. Where drivers have already been fined by traffic officers as a result of these delays, they must apply for the revocation of enforcement order through the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA).

They can fill in the form which is downloadable on the RTIA website and the form can be emailed to For further clarity on the process. Applicants can also call the RTIA call centre on 0861227861.


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