Time's up, SA - Motorists warned to renew expired driving licences ahead of end-August deadline

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A driver getting his driver's licence scanned
A driver getting his driver's licence scanned
Safely Home by Western Cape Government

• South African motorists only have until 31 August 2021 to renew expired vehicle discs and driving licences.

• The AA warns that government should renew its current IT systems.

• Motorists are growing increasingly frustrated with the poor operating systems.

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South African motorists who are yet to renew their vehicle discs and driving licences should do so before the end of August 2021. According to the Automobile Association (AA), the South African government has indicated that it will not be implementing further extensions, as has been the case since 2020.

However, while the government calls on motorists to renew their documents, the AA, in turn, calls on government to fix the renewal system. The AA says that the government needs to find lasting solutions to the renewal problems, noting "that the failure of people to renew these documents is mainly due to the broken system they are forced to use, instead of their unwillingness to do so."

The AA further says: "Government acknowledges that there are problems at the Driving Licence Testing Centres (DLTCs) which renew these documents. Yet, despite this, no further extensions will be considered, meaning people are at the mercy of a broken system. These problems persist and will continue to persist until government takes a bold decision to replace - not repair or revamp - the current IT systems along with increased human resources at DTLCs."

Replace the current systems

The AA predicts that if the government fails to renew their current systems, it could prompt drivers to operate their vehicles without valid documentation.

"People need to be mobile for a number of reasons - work, children, emergencies," the AA notes. "If people can't renew their documents because the system isn't working, they will not stop using their vehicles, they'll use them with invalid documents. It's as simple as that."

The AA details how they've been on the receiving end of numerous emails and calls from the public voicing their frustrations that computers, printers and eye machines are not working at the DLTCs. The inability to access booking slots via the online booking system further fuels the frustration.

The AA concludes: "We have said time and again that the current operations of the DLTCs need to be expanded, that the private sector must be roped in to assist, and that all current system across the country must be replaced. Failure to implement even one of these recommendations will result in continued poor service delivery to the motoring public."

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