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Driving licence renewal process descends into further chaos

Ambiguous government notice states motorists will have to pay R250 just to get a booking slot.
The AA says the RTMC’s stated surplus for 2019/2020 of almost R262m already indicates that motorists are being substantially overcharged. Image: Shutterstock

The driving licence renewal process has been plunged into further chaos, with reports suggesting that motorists will have to pay R250 just to obtain a booking slot to renew their driving licence.

Read: SA’s driving licence renewal process is a debacle

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This follows the publication by the Department of Transport (DoT) of a notice in the Government Gazette for public comment about the proposed revoking of Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) regulations published in April 2017 and proposed amendments to the fees payable for certain services provided by the RTMC.

The notice lists the fees for several services that will be provided by the RTMC in the driving licence renewal process.

These include:

  • A R250 online booking fee for the renewal of a credit card format driving licence.

  • A R99 fee for the delivery of a credit card form driving licence.

  • A transaction fee of R72.

The Automobile Association (AA) and Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) have both slammed the driving licence renewal fee proposals.

‘No change’ says DoT

However, Department of Transport (DoT) spokesperson Sam Monareng told Moneyweb on Tuesday the RTMC had clarified the issue and confirmed that the transaction fee has remained unchanged at R72, while the R250 fee is the cost that is currently paid when motorists apply for a new driving licence card.

“Nothing has changed. The only difference is that in future a motorist can opt to do these online rather than at the Driving Licence Test Centres [DLTCs] and they will be able to opt to have the documents delivered to them.

“Remember that driving licence renewal bookings are only done online. There are no more walk-ins, hence the R250 online booking fee,” he said.

AA spokesperson Layton Beard said the Government Gazette notice is not explicit at all and “it’s not my job to clarify it on behalf of the RTMC”.

Lack of clarity

Beard said the notice is very clear in that it says there is a booking fee of R250.

“It doesn’t say this is included in the price of the card. It doesn’t say it is excluded in the price of the card. It doesn’t say it’s additional. It doesn’t make mention of any of that,” he said.

The AA earlier said in a statement the proposed amended fees for services offered by the RTMC “are beyond outrageous and show deep contempt for the citizens of South Africa”.

It said the proposed fees – seen in the context of the poor to non-existent service delivery rendered by the RTMC currently – seek to extract as much revenue from already cash-strapped citizens without providing any associated benefit to them.

The AA said they also demonstrate a lack of sensitivity to the current plight of motorists who simply cannot renew their driving licences.

Beard said the AA’s earlier statement is 100% accurate, adding that the RTMC is interacting with the public of South Africa by giving them half-baked information.

“They don’t put any context or provide any explanation and there is nothing that says this is in and this is out.

“It’s left to everybody to make up their own mind and the RTMC has now got the gall to go on Twitter to say it’s [the licence renewal fee] included. How do I know it’s included? Where does it say anywhere in the Gazette that it is included?” he said.

The AA said the proposed fees must be seen in the context of the RTMC’s stated surplus for 2019/2020 of almost R262 million, which already indicates that motorists are being substantially overcharged for services rendered by the corporation.

Context

“Further, the proposed fees should be seen in the context of the R9.3 million annual remuneration of RTMC CEO Advocate Makhosini Msibi who is responsible for ensuring all its systems work,” said the AA.

“The driving licence renewal and vehicle registration system is broken and must be replaced. Yet amid all the delays and extensions, the only viable option government sees is to announce new fees for services which aren’t actually rendered.

“Why should citizens who are already paying taxes be expected to pay even more simply to make online bookings?

“This all amounts to ‘double-dipping’ by government purely aimed at revenue generation with no benefit at all to motorists, and with no tangible evidence of improved road safety in the country,” it said.

Ambiguous

Outa CEO Wayne Duvenage said the notice is ambiguous and poorly written and the RTMC will have to retract and reissue it.

Duvenage said the RTMC has only rolled out its online system in Gauteng and the notice appears to apply only to Gauteng, although the notice does not mention the province.

He said Cape Town has its own online system but a driver’s licence renewal only costs R140 not R250 – or R185 if your licence has expired.

Duvenage doubts anyone could book online at a Cape Town DLTC using the RTMC’s system and questioned why the RTMC is charging R250, even if it includes the licence.

“They have already got their R72 [transaction fee]. There is no clarity on what goes to the DLTCs and RTMC over and above the R72 because they are double-dipping here.

“This is a money-making racket. We stick to our guns on that. This doesn’t make sense,” said Duvenage.

“If Cape Town can charge R140 including R72 for the administration and give you your licence, why can’t any other city?” he asked.

The original chaos

About 10 days ago, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced a number of interventions to address the chaos and long queues of motorists waiting for hours at DLTCs to renew their driving licences.

Mbalula also further extended the validity period of driving licences that expired during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Read: Mbalula extends driving licence renewal period, says system is ‘a mess’

In terms of that extension, all learner’s licences, driving licence cards, temporary driving licences and professional driving permits that expired during the period March 26 2020 up to and including August 31 2021 “are deemed to be valid and their validity periods are extended for a further grace period ending on March 31 2022”.

Mbalula confirmed then that Gauteng poses the biggest challenge because of the large population of motorists, and “the fact it remains the only province that has extensively deployed the online booking system”.

One of several interventions announced by Mbalula last month was to centralise from September 1 this year the online booking of slots and the release of these slots by the RTMC – and not the DLTCs.

This was to address the massive backlog in the renewal of expired driving licences and corruption at the DLTCs and the selling of booking slots.

RTMC CEO Msibi said a punitive measure for “no-shows” for booking slots will also be introduced, with “no-shows” forfeiting the money they have paid online to secure the slot.

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COMMENTS   57

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Simple. Just don’t get yr drivers.

When you car insurance does not cover you, then what? I’m guessing you lose your house??

Your driver’s license is always valid once you pass the test. The card is what gets renewed. It’s just a form of government tax.

But definitely worth clarifying with your insurer.

And then? Get fined. Get locked up.??

This Govt. cannot even sort out a license system !@##$$%^&&**

Probably scheming how to setup a tender that very few understand.

Over 2,000,000 licenses were illegally bought and Govt. knows about it.
That is 2,000,000 potential disaster people on the roads.

When you see someone skip a RED traffic light, driving at 40Km/h in 80Km/h or 80km/h in a 120km/h zone it is probably someone that bought their drivers license.

In Cape Town we can renew drivers licenses, come learn from us how to do things.

Exactly, I got tested and had mine within 6 weeks

wow! 6 WEEKS! World CLASS!

Ok Chris, see you this weekend

We’ll have a braai and discuss. Do you have a room for me or shall i stay in a guest house?

I’ll bring the eats and drinks ..Capetonians are efficient and friendly

Cool. Bring your hunting rifle, we can go shoot something. And your vaccination card as well. HeHeHe!!

Absolutely – I actually flew to Cpt from Dirtbin to renew my license.

Well…in addition I would like to add that most Cape cars display their number plates as well….something the predominantly Indian community in KZN no longer thinks necessary. Perhaps it’s to avoid automatic speed cameras or the Receiver of Revenue….who knows, but it’s the new trend here!

Indeed, Chris, because as far as I know, Cape Town is not ANC controlled. Anything & everything the ANC touches breaks. Mbalula has to get the top award for the most useless individual in the government…

Half my comment wasn’t posted because i used Afrikaans words i guess

I’ll invite you for a hunt next year in Free State vlaktes

oh dear… any SA news headline… just has more chaos in it.

Yip, the daily doses are mandatory nowadays!

Any news headline relating to the ANC or an ANC-run municipality has more chaos in it. 🙂

They specialise in theft and destruction.

Just look at the most elementary form that happened in KZN and GP

THank GOD for the

Automobile Association (AA) and
Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa)

@Wayne Duvenage thanks for all your effort!!!!

The system is not working because at the heart of the system is corruption, and not efficiency and logic.

Like Joburg Municipality’s corrupt billing system tender under the corrupt ANC, where the council could not get invoices out for more than 6 months, and even commercial buildings (like Liberty’s Libridge Building, which still has a R25m unpaid amount) were not paying invoices as a result, the system is not working.

Therefore by slapping on adjustments will not make it work better.

Like the ANC itself it is broken. Change the system.

Impossible to change the ‘system’
We voted for this in the referendum and now we have to try to live with it.
It’a like a one-way street, no turning around, just carry on regardless.

One of SA’s biggest problems is that so few people can write or speak clear English that will ensure that any thought or sentence, expression etc means what it is intended to mean in the mind of the listener, reader etc. Among the worst offenders are journalists, radio and TV reporters etc who simply do not understand the meaning of many of the words they utter or write.

Not quite sure of the relevance of that statement but anyway…

Based on all the comments here and on the radio I guess I will go to a small town not in Gauteng and renew my drivers.

I wonder if I can get away with the same as KZN Kloof post office queue was 4hours long yesterday.

This is total insanity all solved by making a licence valid for 20 years.

Your driver’s licence is valid for the rest of your life, after you’ve passed the driving test (legally or otherwise). What gets renewed is just the card.
Now think about that, the reasoning, and maybe you’ll start to understand the corruption behind it all.

I have been told that prior 1994 the card did not require renewal.

If my knowledge serves me correct….

I understand that Shabir Shaik has a hand / or a company linked to him that manufactures these cards…. Shabir and I guess the ANC make money off every South African every time a card get issues or renewed.

this can easily be resolved by adding your vehicle license to your ID… no need to get 2 cards….. but having the Drivers license creates jobs and keeps corruption alive.

Indeed, there was a time when your driver’s licence was incorporated in your ID document and did not expire. But clearly that did not generate enough income for the comrades.

I was in Canada for a while and you could go to an independent organisation, like the AA.
You paid your money, they had a machine, checked your eyesight, took your photo and printed the licence card. I guess there is insufficient payback to comrades if this system was introduced in SA. Instead you stand in a queue to pay your money, another queue to have your photo taken and yet another queue when your licence finally is available. No wonder this country is extremely unproductive.

I don’t know. I went to Atlantis last week and I was done within 40 minutes with the eye test included. I think I paid R185 for the temporary license. Excellent service in my view.

You already pay that extra in Krugersdorp when applying for your licence.
It goes to the security guard that walks up and down the queue looking for ‘customers’. Quite blatant and open. After paying you get ushered through an unmarked door.

Speak for yourself. I don’t pay bribes.

Heish!!!

This old Bla-Bla MBlalula just keeps making a total fool of himself. Looks like the cadre’s are in competition to see who can look like the biggest fool.

The fact that this can actually happen just shows that the “leader” leaves his cabinet of fools to do things unsupervised.

Wonder who he thinks is responsible for supervising them?? He never any responsibility and that makes him come across as a leader of fools.

I am amazed at the Marlboro branch. I walked in later in the afternoon and was 2nd in the Que

Are u still in the Q ?

Touche! Haha…

How late? they normally stop working at about 14h30 or 15h.

Great news they must have improved a lot.

The longer this turkey in in charge the worse it gets…..

“”..seen in the context of the R9.3 million annual remuneration of RTMC CEO Advocate Makhosini Msibi who is responsible for ensuring all its systems work,””. R9 million seems ludicrous for someone unable ensure workable systems. Probably a cadre redeployed individual who couldn’t cut it in private practice.
What is the Auditor General doing about this mismanagement? How is this incompetent escaping the PFMA? Surely the honorable advocate, the honorable minister and his senior officials especially the ones who wrote the confusing notice in the Government Gazette have contravened the PFMA? Also where is the pubic protector? The public are being severely prejudiced by this incompetence and need protection from gross negligence on the part of government officials.

They’ve all gone fishing….

Stinking, corrupt, money-grabbing ANC. The fiscus is billions short due to their cadre deployment, bloated private sector personnel and salaries, corruption ,etc,etc and now the law-abiding citizenry have to suffer for their profligacy as always.

I’m sure that there are two options – stand in a line and pay as per normal or secure an appointment via online means and pay at a premium. This is a way of taxing the middle class. I really don’t mind paying a premium so that everything is coordinated.

So you make it sound like you support corruption?

I’m being realistic based on where we currently are. Our tax system is currently tiered anyway. Economies of scale will come into play i.e. once the basic people have migrated to the new online system, it should become cheaper reducing fees for two sets of people/software doing the same thing.

I cannot believe what you have just written, Joely. You must be an ANC cadre to think like that. The mind boggles at your ridiculous statement.

As it would and will, like everything else, until we are rid of the ANC!

Simple!

No ANC government official ever does anything as a public service, only to enrich themselves. After all, that’s what the struggle for Uhuru was for, wasn’t it?

Rather than fix anything, they come up with new ways of enriching themselves, at increased cost to the public.

Does anyone know if over 60s can still walk-in on Wednesdays?

In contrast, a 5 years license in Sydney costs you A$190 (~R2000). 30 minutes in a queue, then posted to your address in a week.

Just another instance of the gangster state trying to extort monies from motorists.

I have ‘sympathy’ for the Dept to charge R250. I mean, it what other way is SA going to CARRY the cost of having people employed in positions, they are not qualified for.

It makes sense to me.

A much easier way, perhaps….fly to Tbilisi, Georgia…apply for a foreign drivers permit, and use it for the remainder of the period in SA as a foreign driving license.
(you’ll probably gets better service in another country as a foreigner, than a citizen in your own country…). The result of SA’s skewed Employment Equity law…

Has everyone forgotten who got the original contract to provide the new card license? It was Shabir Shaick and his brother! The very beginning of Zuma corruption! And If I remember correctly, that deal was worth about R1.2 billion….billion!

My biggest concern here is the R9.3 million annual remuneration of the CEO. God bless his rich soul

I live in Cape Town, and coming up for renewal of my driver’s license @ R140.

I understand the requirement to have a valid licence. It should indicate that you are competent with traffic laws and the safe handling of a vehicle.
But what does the renewal of the licence do apart from your eye test?
It’s just an admin nightmare, cause of frustration and a way to hide tax.
The ability to drive or knowing the rules seems the least of their concerns. I would like to see how an insurer tell me I’m incompetent because that is not tested in the renewal process. It may just be a legal point but if that case is tested and fails the whole licence environment falls flat! The two has basically nothing to do with each other.
For that matter a recent eye test is as good as a valid licence? is it not? since that all that is tested. Then we are not even touching on the complete incompetence of the administrative process that just cannot cope with an artificially created frenzy.
So what is the value of a licence renewal?

The need to renew a bought under the counter license is so very important. Far more important than stopping the rampant corruption. New licenses are still going cheap. They just have to wipe away the previous one.

End of comments.

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