The Department of Transport has issued a directive giving a massive extension to South Africans whose driver’s licences have expired or expire between March and December this year.
According to the department, licences that expire during the period from 26 March 2020 up to and including 31 December 2020 will now be valid, and their validity periods are extended for a further grace period ending on 31 August 2021.
This applies to
- All learner’s licences;
- Driving licence cards;
- Temporary driving licences; and
- Professional driving permits.
This comes into effect immediately.
This is the latest in a string of extensions given to drivers, who have had trouble renewing licences firstly due to the Covid-19 lockdown, and since have been facing issues at traffic departments bogged down with large backlogs in processing applications.
At last reporting, South Africa had a backlog of 320,000 driving licences, with demand growing by 90,000 each month.
At the time transport minister Fikile Mbalula said the backlog wasn’t only as a result of Covid-19 complications, but was also being caused by corruption among back-office staff at driving licence testing centres.
South Africans who have been trying to renew their driving licences expressed frustration with the online booking system, where it is exceedingly difficult to get a slot for licence renewals.
The Gauteng provincial government made changes to the bookings process to address the backlog, with all driver testing licensing centres (DLTCs) in the province now dedicating 70% of booking slots and capacity to driving licence renewals to address the issue.