Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says the driver’s license renewal backlog will be dealt with in time, before the March 2022 deadline.
Mbalula was responding to questions in the National Assembly on Wednesday, where he revealed that the online booking system that was introduced in Gauteng could be rolled out nationally to deal with the driver’s license renewal backlog.
He explained that the system, which is managed by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), had provided a good basis for “a bouquet of online services” to be introduced across other provinces.
In late August, Gauteng department of roads and transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo launched the “Request A Slot” campaign in an effort to deal with the backlog in the province.
Mamabolo also announced further interventions, which include the establishment of two more Driver Licence and Traffic Centres (DTLCs) in Midrand and Centurion, as well as the introduction of biometric systems.
The DLTCs, which were launched last month, will operate seven days a week, from 7am to 9pm.
The MEC said at the time that the department was aiming to have 10 additional centres in Gauteng by the end of the year.
Mbalula, meanwhile, noted that Mamabolo also delegated the Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) to render DLTC functions.
“In terms of the provisions of Section 18 of the RTMC Act, out of the 10 functional areas, driving licences is one of its competencies. However, the power vests with the MECs in the province to open DLTCs or delegate municipalities or other agencies to render these services,” he said.
On the backlog, Mbalula said this would be addressed on a national scale, adding that the deadline would be met.
“I will not be in a position to give you a breakdown, province by province, in terms of addressing the backlog but I can tell you that we will able to meet the deadline by March and nobody will be having challenges of driver’s license renewal,” the minister continued to say.
Mbalula further said the bouquet of online services would be launched “in the next few weeks”.
“Watch the space, we will be launching that renewed, revamped online approach. We are going into spaces where you can get an opportunity to renew your licence, like at the Gauteng, all the important spaces in the community,” he added.
He also said getting a driver’s licence “should not be a nightmare” beyond the deadline.
“Where we have got challenges, we are unlocking the bottlenecks. To renew a driver’s licence should not be a nightmare that is riddled with corruption of [having] to bribe your way up. We are rolling out our mobile DLTCs around the country to reach our people,” Mbalula said.
Mbalula previously announced the extension for license renewals, where he confirmed that the validity of licences that expired between 26 March and 31 August 2021 would now be extended to 31 March 2022.