Warning over renewing licence via WhatsApp

2020-01-13 15:32
Themba Nkuna holds up his old licence disc just before he joined the long queue at the Scottsville Post Office to renew it.

Themba Nkuna holds up his old licence disc just before he joined the long queue at the Scottsville Post Office to renew it. (Moeketsi Mamane)

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People who are resorting to using the newly-introduced WhatsApp chat system to renew their vehicle licence discs in order to avoid long queues have been warned to do so at their own risk as this is not a government service.

Several news articles have reported that people can now renew their South African vehicle licence discs anywhere and anytime by sending WhatsApp messages thanks to a company known to The Witness, that runs an automated chatting system.

The company promises to take the stress out of vehicle licence renewals as they do it all for you on WhatsApp. People are asked to send their vehicle information, a photo of their ID and proof of residence. They then have to make an online payment and then have their new licence discs delivered to them in few days all for a service and delivery fee of R199.

Attempts to get further comment from the company concerned, however, were unsuccessful as they did not respond to e-mails or direct messages on Twitter sent by The Witness last Friday.

There are also no telephone numbers available on their website.

'These companies are private'

Simon Zwane, spokesperson for the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), said they were aware of the WhatsApp system.

“These companies are private and say they do it for you. People must know that they are using this service at their own risk and that it is not a government accredited system,” he said.

The Witness, meanwhile, was inundated with complaints from irate motorists trying to renew their licence discs at the local Licensing Department Offices and the several post offices in the city.

The complaints were of the long queues, the system at some post offices constantly being offline, confusion as to what type of proof of residential address is accepted, why affidavits are no longer accepted and why some offices only accept cash payments.

Commenting on The Witness’ Facebook page, Hannah Markham said she got married two years ago but to this day, her address on the licensing system is still of her mother’s old house, and they were still using her maiden name.

“I do not know why we need to provide proof of residence and our updated details when they cannot do simple things like update our personal details,” she said.

Martin Jackson Hannah said it was confusing how sometimes they want a certified copy of your utility bill and sometimes they don’t.

'Rude and arrogant'

Anthony Krijger said he bought a vehicle in November and the dealership was having difficulties registering it due to load shedding and their system being continuously down. “Staff are rude and arrogant, too. Like most things in the new SA, they are crumbling badly,” said Krijger.

Susan Coetzee-Keartland said she had to go to Liberty Mall post office for two days in a row due the long queues which are “painfully slow”. “I found it surprising that a councillor’s letter as proof of residence was declined. It is a legal document. People had to leave the queue and get bank statements,” said Coetzee-Keartland.

Shashika Rai Ramroop said she got a parking ticket because of all the delays with getting her licence disc after going to the post office four times only to be told that the system was offline.

Marie Labuschagne said despite having received a licence renewal notification with her address on it, she was told that she still had to go to the bank for a statement with her address on it.

KZN Transport spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said they require people to submit their proof of residential address every year because people change addresses now and again to avoid paying traffic fines.

“This is one of the measures we use to confirm if the person is still using the same address,” said Ncalane.

RTMC spokesperson Zwane said they would investigate why some post offices were not accepting affidavits with utility bills and letters from local councillors as proof of residential address and will try and resolve this confusion soon.

Read more on:    durban

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