News Room

Addressing Driving Licence Bribes in SA

Author: Compare Guru
Date: 2016-11-04
We have all heard of, or experienced, a bribe when trying to get our learner’s or driver’s licence. Here is why #DrivingLicenceBribeMustFall.
Corruption in the Traffic Department is something many know about, but few seem to publicly voice the wrongdoings. CompareGuru_Billboard_2 Many complain via social media on the corruption they see at testing stations. When they cannot seem to pass their driver's licence without coughing up a bit of money. Or leaving the invigilator a bottle of brandy on the backseat. Consumer insights company, Pondering Panda, released results from a survey of over 2000 individuals between the ages of 18 and 34. Three in five had said they knew someone who had paid a bribe to get their licence.


A learner driver was arrested in Gordon's Bay when he handed the examiner a money bag with R100 notes. The Western Province Traffic Services, Merle Lourens said that these incidents are viewed in a serious light.
"We do not tolerate these kinds of [payments] at all. We're trying to tell people that no leniency is going to be shown."
A reporter from GroundUp followed a tip-off of corruption at the Randburg Licensing Department. A Johannesburg man told GroundUp how his wife had failed her Learners Test on three separate occasions. At the last booking, she was offered a licence in exchange for a bribe of R1000. His wife refused and remembered the man's name as 'Jo'.

The reporter decided to investigate in June [2016] by calling to ask about the process to get a learner's and driver's licence. It apparently only took a couple minutes for a bribe of R1000 to be solicited to get a learner's licence. 'Jo' then went on to say that a driver's licence would cost R2000 but combined, he would give the two for R2500 - a real salesman.
"He even said he was doing me a favour as he had charged three men R1500 for their learner's the day before."
Claiming that all learner's licence examinations were full until the end of August, and even into September, Jo said he had "made a plan" and she was booked in for 5 July. All that was needed was the payment, two ID photos and a copy of her ID. All documents would be scanned to ensure her licence was on the system and added.
"I'm telling you ... you don't have to even study.”

The Consequences Of Owning An Illegal Driver's Licence

Illegal driver's licence   JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minaar said that any officer who participates in soliciting bribes would have to appear before a disciplinary meeting.
"The JMPD does not tolerate corruption."
Minaar advised speaking to the head of Internal Affairs, Sam Sethagu, in cases of driver's licence corruption. It is vital to collect as much evidence as possible in the form of hidden cameras and 'live wires' (voice recordings of conversations with Licence Department 'runners' such as Jo). It is estimated that over R20-million is spent each year to bring a halt to this type of corruption. The JMPD and The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) have worked together to ensure over  6000 illegal licences have been cancelled, as well as criminal proceedings for a number of corrupt officials, 'runners', and "fly-by-night driving instructors". The National Traffic Information System, or eNaTIS, is also a point of action to stop any corruption that is currently underway. 
Don't get caught in the trap of paying higher insurance premiums than you need to. CLICK BELOW to compare car insurance quotes and find the most affordable deal for you! #PremiumsMustFall unnamed-7

The Actual Cost To Get Your Learner's and Driver's

This is actually how much it costs to get your learners and drivers:

Learner's Licence

  • Book a test time slot (Code 10) = R240
  • Issue fee: R60

Driver's Licence

  • Code 8 = R228
  • Code 10 = R240
  • Issue fees: R228 (on both)

What To Do If You Are Bribed Or Failed Over and Over Again

Licence bribes in South Africa

Image source: Buzz South Africa

If you suspect corruption at your Licence Department, or never seem to be able to pass your driver's or learner's, you are able to appeal your test. This can be done with the Department of Transport’s Investigations and Forensics Sub-Directorate by calling them on 012 309 3864, or by faxing your complaint to 012 323 6909. The best course of action is to get a signed affidavit to the Special Investigating Unit. If you would like to stay anonymous, this is possible. However, your affidavit will require you to give your full details for verification. When signing up to a driving school or driving instructor, make sure yours is affiliated to a national body like SAIDI (The South African Institute of Driving Instructors).

Sign up to our Newsletter now, and don’t miss a beat.

Email Address
Sign Up