Duncan Alfreds, News24
Every week I pray for a miracle. I have high hopes that the radio silence from Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula is because the news will break of a new digital era for vehicle and driving licences. That we no longer need to stand for hours on end, only to be told: "come back tomorrow". Or, log on to a problematic system which has been offline once again.
But then I open my mailbox to hundreds of daily emails from Wheels24 readers in this pandemic, and I am brought straight back to reality.
We are urged to stay home and stay safe, yet motorists are fined R3000 for expired vehicle licences when Covid-19 has hit them. They have been unable to leave home because they've been fighting for their lives and can't worry about the expired licence disc on their car. Perhaps they've been in hospital, or maybe they've lost a loved one they couldn't even see for the past few weeks. Yet, there is no mercy, no consideration.
Motorists who are aged, and have long lists of comorbidities are slapped with R700 fines when their vehicle licence is less than that.
One thing is for sure, the South African vehicle and driving licence system has been extremely problematic long before the coronavirus put the world in crisis. And, we could probably hold our breaths until we're blue in the face, no one who should matter, probably even cares.