New number plates for KZN

2016-03-24 06:00

ALL KZN motorists will soon have to cough up for new number plates.

In 2014, the provincial cabinet approved the Transport Department’s plan to change vehicle number plates to aluminium, and carrying the generic “ZN” instead of the town-specific nomenclature which is now in place.

Subsequently, the department applied to the national Transport Department for permission to develop an operational plan for the roll-out of the new plates.

However, the process stalled when the national department decided that there needed to be national standardising of number plates, across all provinces.

On Tuesday, provincial Transport ­Department head Sibusiso Gumbi told ­finance portfolio committee members that the national department had already ­finalised its technical work and was ­“looking at the implications of the changes that had to be effected through the amendment of the National Road Traffic Act”.

“Once that process is done, they will be able to finalise it,” he said.

Since the programme has become a ­national standardisation, the South African flag will be incorporated into the number plate, said Gumbi.

It is not clear whether the new number plates will cost motorists more than the number plates currently in use.

Registration costs currently exceed R500, while basic number plates cost around R150 per set.

However, Gumbi said that the process could be delayed by the ongoing court challenge relating to eNatis.

Tasima, the company that operates the electronic National Traffic Information System (eNatis), is challenging the transfer of the system to the Department of ­Transport and its Road Traffic ­Management Corporation (RTMC).

“If the case is not resolved, it will have implications, because as a country we ­cannot use eNatis when it is still a disputed method,” he said.

MEC Willies Mchunu said KZN saw the need for change as the “province, together with Western Cape, seemed to be out of sync” with the rest of the country.

The other seven provinces use provincial number plates.

Mchunu said his department had raised the number plate issue and that it had to be escalated to the national department for its consideration.

“When it went to national, they ­embarked on their own research.

“Their research revealed many ­problems, including the cloning of number plates and the fraudulent activities that went into that.

“The national [department] then decided that we must standardise nationally, including the quality of your number plating, your embossment of the number plate; all of that needed to be standardised and security checks needed to be done,” he said.

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