Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced another extension for learner and driving licences, and this time also vehicle licences.
Mbalula announced earlier at Cape Town International Airport on Thursday (31 December), and posted on his social media account: "In order to ease the pressure on motorist and to allow sufficient time for authorities to clear the backlogs as a consequence of the earlier restrictions, we have extended the validity of learner's and driver's licences, vehicle licences, professional driving permits, operating licences, accreditation certificates for tourist services."
Mbalula has since deleted his tweets earlier in January, after announcing another extension which was never documented in the Government Gazette to deem it valid.
It's all a big mess because what happens to all those motorists who have been charged exorbitant penalties and paid their expired vehicle licences in the interim?
The extension for driving and learner licences should have included vehicle licences from the onset with the initial extension.
South Africa will need more than just two months to recover from the pandemic - provided citizens adhere to strict protocols. February will arrive in the blink of the eye, and we'll still be sitting with the same problem for licences which expire from March 2021.
While it's advisable for South Africans to rather stay home and be safe during these next few weeks, motorists will wait until August, and the backlog would not have been eased. A much longer extension is needed, for all licences, at least until we're safely out of the woods.
In order to ease the pressure on motorist and to allow sufficient time for authorities to clear the backlogs as a consequence of the earlier restrictions, we have extended the validity of learner’s and driver’s licences, vehicle licences, professional driving permits, pic.twitter.com/dlBLcJGAyn— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) December 31, 2020
We expect an increase in movement of traffic on the roads following the President’s address. Our road operations will continue and be more targeted on roads used to travel back to where people live and work. #livebeyonddezemba pic.twitter.com/eJqlEAuNSS— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) December 30, 2020
Taking into consideration that many people will be travelling long distances to return to their places of work during the first weeks of January, we have placed a proposal on the table to allow long distance buses and taxis to complete their journeys... https://t.co/u7ZHDALP8s pic.twitter.com/zHHTC2NR7J— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) December 31, 2020