New car plates proposed

2011-07-09 00:00

IT might soon be a thing of the past for provinces to have their vehicle number plates designed with only the province’s initials as the Transport Department is considering introducing new ones. The department is contemplating having uniform identity plates across all provinces.

Department spokesperson John Motsatsing said this means that people planning to buy vehicles in the future will also purchase the plates, which will have RSA printed on them. He said the provinces will be allowed only a small space to install their logos.

“This will not affect those who already own vehicles because they will keep their old number plates. Only those who will buy vehicles after the introduction of the new number plates will be affected,” said Motsatsing.

He told The Witness that he does not anticipate the cost of the new design will be much different from the current one. The Witnes s has learnt that it costs between R85 and R140 to print the current design.

Motsatsing also said the uniform identity will also help to monitor the movement of South African vehicles to neighbouring countries.

“The uniform plates system in SA is going to deal with harmonisation at SADC [Southern African Development Community] level. You find that because of the current design when our vehicles enter other countries it is not easily known that they are from South Africa,” Motsatsing said.

“We also plan to propose to other SADC countries that they introduce number plates with uniform national identity in order for us to be able to monitor their vehicles moving when they enter our borders.”

He added that most of the current number plates are not compliant because they have colourful designs, which makes it difficult for traffic officials to see the numbers on the plate.

“In addition to the national identity there will be a portion in the plate wherein the provinces are allowed to prescribe their individual identity,” he said.

Transport Minister S’bu Ndebele also emphasised the role the new number plates will play in creating a national identity.

“All the plates would denote the Republic of South Africa, with the relevant province being allowed a certain portion of a plate wherein they can display provincial logos,” Ndebele recently told Business Day.

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