KZN’s high licence fees see truck owners registering in other provinces

2018-05-28 16:00

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KwaZulu-Natal motorcycle and vehicle owners are paying almost double the licence renewal fees of other provinces in the country.

The high price of licence renewals has even seen some KZN trucking companies registering their fleets in Mpumalanga, the cheapest province to renew a license in.

Frustrated motorcycle enthusiast and Pietermaritzburg resident Ian Blomeyer said he had recently been charged R420, including the R72 admin fee, to renew the licence for his motorcycle that weighs under 250 kg.

Shocked at the amount, the motorcyclist took to the Wild Dogs Adventure Riding website, and started a survey to see how much motorcyclists from other provinces are paying.

The Witness was shown the forum where motorcyclists from Gauteng, Port Elizabeth and the Western Cape responded that they indeed did pay less in licence renewal fees than their KZN counterparts.

One user said he paid R252 in licence renewals last month in Polokwane, Limpopo, while a Port Elizabeth user said they were charged R282.

A Western Cape user said he paid R252 at the end of January.

One user, an employee of a trucking company, said they had recently registered all of their vehicles in Mpumalanga and had saved half a million rand in just six months.

Aliwal Security director Sewraj Girdhurparsadh, who has been involved in transport security for decades, said that almost all medium-sized trucking companies in KwaZulu-Natal were registering their fleets in Mpumalanga to reduce costs.

“The licence renewal fees should be the same across the board,” said Girdhurparsadh. “Mpumalanga has amassed millions from all the trucks registering their fleets in the province.

“Now assume 1 000 trucks have renewed their licences in Mpumalanga. If KwaZulu-Natal reduces the renewal amount, they will get those 1 000 trucks and the fee money back.”

The KwaZulu-Natal Transport Department spokesperson, Nathi Sukazi said, however, that fees have become a major source of revenue for the province, generating R1,6 billion annually.

“This revenue is then invested across a number of service delivery areas including education, health and human settlements,” he said.

“KZN province is possibly amongst the highest, but not the highest in all categories of licence fees ranking as the highest in the country.

“There are plans to align the provincial licence fees with those of other provinces over time. Our provincial licence fees are growing at four percent annually, which is below the inflation rate of 6,2% as of March 2018,” he said.

He said this was done to align with other provinces, “because the other provinces are raising their fees at a higher annual rate, some of which are growing at 10% annually.”

He said the province took the decision to slow the increase in fees four years ago when the recession started.

He said they dropped the 10% annual increase to below the inflation rate of four percent per year.

“This was done to protect the consumer from above inflation increases and to try to address the gap between the province and other provinces in terms of the fees charged,” said Sukazi.

“The reduced increases have worked in that the province has moved from having the highest fees in the country to being approximately third-highest.

“The fees that are higher are for buses and heavy vehicles, who cause the most damage on the road and do not pay their fair share for the damage.”

He said the caravan and motorcycle categories had previously had very low fees but they were being charged for a “luxury purchase”.

Sukazi added that the department was aware of trucking companies registering and renewing licences in other provinces and that “the implications of such are being monitored”.

He said one of the devastating effects of registering trucks in another province was that many were not roadworthy “and have been involved in fatal road crashes in our province”.

When asked whether fleet owners registering trucks in other provinces was hurting the department’s revenue, Sukazi said a vehicle owner is able to register and license a vehicle “in any province provided that such owner resides in the province concerned”.

He added that due to each MEC determining fees for their respective province, there is no uniformity in motor vehicle registration and licence fees countrywide.

Motorcycle renewal fees without the added R72 admin fee:

•Mpumalanga - R108

•Western Cape - R180

Gauteng - R204

•Eastern Cape - R210

•KwaZulu-Natal - R348

Motor vehicle renewal fees (1 500kg) without the added admin fee:

•Mpumalanga - R576

•Western Cape - R612

•Gauteng - R660

•Eastern Cape - R696

•KwaZulu-Natal - R720

Motor vehicle renewal fees (1500kg) without the added admin fee:

•Mpumalanga - R576

•Western Cape - R612

•Gauteng - R660

•Eastern Cape - R696

•KwaZulu-Natal - R720


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  vehicle renewal fees

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