This is what Cape Town’s new number plates will look like

The Western Cape government has published a new provincial gazette outlining its plans for new number plates in the province.

The introduction of new number plates is a pre-emptive one, driven by the rate at which the current ‘CAA’ and ‘CAW’ licence numbers are being used up, it said.

It added that there are other practical reasons for considering a provincial licence mark as opposed to adding more local marks to the existing ones. These include:

  • A municipality having multiple licence marks allocated to its registering authorities, e.g. the City of Cape Town with the CA, CAA, CEY, CF, CFM, CFR and CY licence marks.  This situation sometimes leads to the manipulation of address information on NaTIS where a vehicle owner favours a particular licence mark of another area over his / her local licence mark;
  • More than one municipality shares the same licence mark, e.g. the municipalities of Theewaterskloof and Overstrand share the CAM licence mark;
  • The current municipal areas do not in all respects align with the areas of the then Department of Inland Revenue through which licence marks were originally established and allocated.  This situation leads to a vehicle being allocated with a licence number that contains a licence mark (as programmed on NaTIS) at a registering authority that is not part of the local municipality of the vehicle owner – a situation where revenue (through vehicle licence fees) is then not paid to the correct municipality.

New plates 

In the provincial gazette published on Friday, the department said that the new number plates will be an alphanumeric combination.

It further describes the new licence plate as follows:

  • Two letters, two figures and two letters in any sequence;
  • A ‘WC’ licence mark which follows this alphanumeric combination.

Speaking to BusinessTech, department spokesperson Jandré Bakker said that this new format would allow authorities room to produce a possible 16 million number plates, and is similar to the current plate formats used in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape.

Run out of plates 

“When the ‘CAW’ licence mark reaches 100,000 licence numbers it will be replaced by the new licence mark CAG as published in Provincial Gazette 7884, on 26 February 2018,

“This is an interim arrangement until such time that a new provincial licence mark is in place to cover all the areas of the province,” the Western Cape Department of Transport said.

However, it noted that the CAA licence mark will be allowed to exceed 100,000, in the interim, as the higher than expected demand for CAA licence numbers will not allow for a new local licence mark to be published in time.

This means that such a licence number will, therefore, consist of a combination of 9 characters – creating potential issues with the size of number plates.

“The department would like to advise the public, traffic law enforcement authorities, as well as certified number plate manufacturers that 1 of the 5 sizes of number plates that are legally allowed on vehicles registered before 01 January 2010 will not comply with the SABS standards (SANS code) if a 9-character licence number is used.

“Therefore, instead of the 440mm x 120mm size number plate, the 520mm x 113mm size must be used as this will enable motorists to still comply with the law.”

As of 12 November 2019, 81,964 CAA numbers have been allocated since its introduction on 13 April 2019.

You can read the full gazette and details on the new plates below:

New Plates by BusinessTech on Scribd


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This is what Cape Town’s new number plates will look like