KZN motorists to pay more for licence renewal

2012-03-28 00:00

MOTORISTS in KwaZulu-Natal are to be hit hard in the pocket.

This comes after the KZN government announced plans to increase the fees for renewing driving licences to top up its budget shortfall.

The provincial government had a R13,5 billion budget shortfall this year.

The petrol price is to go up by 60c a litre in April and national toll tariffs went up on March 23.

A Durban daily reported that drivers in the province will now have to pay R250 to renew their driving licences, and up to R340 if they expire.

In the Western Cape, they pay R140 and R185 respectively.

“It is all included in the budget,” Provincial Treasury representative Ntokoso Mphisa was quoted as saying. “We got about R70 billion from the national treasury. We need R83.5 billion…”

Toll tariffs have also been raised around the country, with minimal hikes at most KZN toll gates.

The South African National Road Agency Limited said the national tariff adjustment was necessary to keep up the costs of maintaining the national road network.

The adjusted tolls came into effect on March 23.

“Given the various demands on the fiscus, and in the face of meeting the challenges of maintaining the national road network in a good condition, the toll principle is used as this allows for the preservation and provision of infrastructure sooner than traditional tax based revenues would allow,” Sanral said in a statement.

It said posters informing road users about the toll adjustment date had been put up at all toll plazas ahead of the adjustment date.

“The toll collectors were also instructed to notify road users of all the toll adjustments,” Sanral added.

The 60c per litre increase will bring petrol around the country to record highs.

Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Commerce CEO Melanie Veness said the increases in the tolls, fuel prices and licensing fees would “put additional pressure on every rand”.

“Every time there is an increase in transportation, all goods go up,” she told The Witness.

“This will effectively affect the poorest of the poor.”

Veness said consumers should be given greater consideration.

Gary Ronald of the Automobile Association said motorists could expect rough times with the numerous increases.

They could face an additional increase of about 65 cents a litre for petrol, he warned.

“Motorists will now have to find ways either to find someone to travel with to and from work or they should find ways drive more wisely to conserve petrol.”

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