Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has warned of the fast-approaching grace period deadline for motoring licences in South Africa at the end of March.
The national lockdown imposed on the country last year forced licencing centres to close, resulting in a massive backlog of expired licences. This was compounded after the country’s only licence printing machine broke down at the end of 2021, leaving approximately half a million South African motorists stuck with expired driving licence cards.
Mbalula previously extended expired licences to 31 March 2022 due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic which meant motorists could not visit licensing centres. This grace period covered all documents which expired in the period between 26 March 2020 and 31 August 2021.
“We think by April we would have been done with a backlog of around two million people it will take us somewhere,” he told eNCA.
“It’s not on our agenda to extend (the grace period) hence my call to all people, go and renew your driver’s license, and be on the queue to renew your driver’s license card.
Mbalula added that the country’s licence printing machine was now back in operation and several new online features will make it easier to get a licence.
“My call to all people is to go and renew your driver licence and be in the queue – there will never be another window. We are going (back) to normal now as we were before Covid.
“Once the (state of disaster) is gone away with we should be ready to roll with the country’s driver licence backlog.”