Due to delays caused by a labour dispute, the Department of Transport is currently sitting on a backlog of 324 000 driving licences that are yet to be printed.
Minister of Transport, Blade Nzimande, said that the department had received over a million card applications between July and December, and managed to rattle off around 700 000 before the show fell apart.
The department is currently implementing a contingency plan in order to make up for all the time lost during the strike. The Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA) employees are reportedly back at work, and are scheduled to print the outstanding licences in the next three weeks.
But, in the meanwhile, what happens to the motorists who applied to renew their licences, didn’t receive them, and find themselves caught in a roadblock?
Nzimande said that the department has issued a directive to both provincial and municipal traffic authorities across the country to not penalise any motorists who have not yet received their licences.
Of course, being traffic officials, we can almost expect them to just go ahead and do whatever they want in anyway. So, what if you find yourself in a sticky situation? Let’s take a look at how you can cover all your bases.
If you’ve already been fined for not having a valid drivers’ licence on you, and you’ve applied and just not received it yet, you’ll need to then apply for the ‘revocation of enforcement order’ through the Road Traffic Infringement Agency.
Irritating, isn’t it? In order to do this you’ll have to:
Nzimande added that motorists who renewed their driving licences three months before expiration will also be exempt from fines – but you’ll have to be able to produce the valid receipt that was given to you upon renewal.
New first-time licence applicants will also be exempt. When applying for your driver’s licence upon passing your test, you’re required to apply for a temporary licence in anyway. However, this temporary licence is only valid for a short while before it expires.
According to Nzimande, these motorists will not be required to reapply for another temporary licence, should it expire, and will be allowed to use the expired temporary licence until the permanent licence arrives. Until that happens, however, motorists will still need to have their temporary licence on them when driving, expired or not, and be able to produce it when requested by a traffic official.
The minister then went on to “earnestly apologise” for the inconvenience the department has put us through.
Well, that makes everything better again.