Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has confirmed that the government will not issue a further extension of South Africa’s driving licence grace period.
Addressing media on Thursday (28 April), the transport minister warned that affected motorists have until 5 May 2022 to renew their expired driving licence cards.
The deadline applies to 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 August 2021.
“With only a week left to the final deadline for the extended grace period for renewal of driving licence cards that expired between 26 March 2020 and 31 August 2021, we encourage all those who have yet to come forward to renew their licences to do so without delay.”
He added that his department has a plan in place ahead of the expected influx of motorists at driving licence centres this week. This includes extending the daily operating hours of the driving licence centres by two hours during the week and opening on weekends, both Saturday and Sundays, until 31 May 2022, he said.
Mbalula added that the country has a backlog of 1.3 million expired driving licence cards that have yet to be renewed.
“We have overcome the capacity constraints that delayed the production of driving licence cards due to the machine that broke down last year. The Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA) trading entity is now working 24-hour daily shifts to clear the backlog of driving licence cards.
“The DLCA has ramped up its production capability and will be able to clear the current backlog of cards to be printed by the end of June 2022.”
We have overcome the capacity constraints that delayed the production of driving licence cards due to the machine that broke down last year. The Driving Licence Card Account trading entity is now working 24-hour daily shifts to clear the backlog of driving licence cards. pic.twitter.com/LWD55FBAkA
— FIKILE MBALULA | MR FIX (@MbalulaFikile) April 28, 2022
Easter weekend fatalities
Mbalula also confirmed a 26.8% decline in fatalities over the Easter period as devastating flooding in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of the Eastern Cape halted holiday plans.
The transport minister noted that traffic volumes in KwaZulu-Natal declined by 21% year on year due to the damage.
“A total of 162 people perished on our roads this year compared to 235 last year, resulting from 134 fatal crashes this year compared to 189 the previous year. Most of the crashes occurred on Friday and Saturday.
“A total of two thousand three hundred and ninety-five (2,395) traffic fines were issued for speeding this year compared to five thousand nine hundred and twenty-three (5,923) last year. A total of 3,494 motorists were fined for operating.
“It will be remiss of me if I do not commend the motorists for displaying good behaviour and willingness to comply with the rules of the road during the Easter period.”