May 27, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Frustrated motorists fear fines as they miss licence renewal deadline

Some drivers who failed to renew their license by the deadline fear fines starting Friday.

One who was turned away trying to renew her license fears negative consequences for having to drive without a license .

Ntando Mkhize from Randburg visited Randburg’s licensing department on Thursday morning hoping that she would leave with her driver’s license or at least a provisional license but that was not the case as she was turned away.

“I got here early in the morning and there was no line. They told me they only help people who booked online. If you didn’t book, they just turned you away,” she said.

Mkhize said she tried several times to book for her renewal on the online platform without success.

Although the queue in the center wasn’t long, motorists complained that they couldn’t renew their licenses because the system wasn’t working.

Hein Kock, who booked online, was initially delighted that he could use his driver’s license would go home, but soon learned the system wasn’t working.

“They tell me they can’t process the payment today and have to come back tomorrow,” he said.

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Thursday was the last day of the grace period to renew driver’s licenses that had expired at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic between March 26 and August 21 last year.

Steven Ramahala , a driver by trade, traveled from Diepsloot to Randburg hoping to renew his driving licence, wur de but rejected because he had not booked.

“It will be a problem because I have to drive for work and my driver’s license expired during Covid-19,” he said.

Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) spokesman Simon Zwane said those turned away to try out the Waterfall and Eco-Park licensing centers said they were operating from 7am to 9pm, seven days a week. He said the centers will not turn away motorists unless they have a booking.

Zwane said Minister Fikile Mbalula has categorically stated that there will be no further grace period as the deadline has been extended five times.

“Anyone who drives beyond this period with an expired license is breaking the law. Online bookings in Gauteng have been operational since 2018 and motorists are advised to book and show up by the appointed date,” he said.

He noted that centers will be working extra hours this month, to help those who want to make last-minute arrangements to apply.

“But those whose driver’s license expired between March 2020 and August 2021 must now obtain a provisional driver’s license so they can drive while.” waiting for their license to print,” he said.

Outa CEO Wayne Duvenage said it remains to be seen whether all of these expired drivers would be able to print them before the deadline to renew.

“Let’s say there are still 7,500 drivers driving without a renewed license by tomorrow, what happens to them?” he asked.

According to Duvenage, it may be the best strategy of the government not to extend the deadline any further, but he believes they need to ask law enforcement agencies to be vigilant and easy on motorists.

< p>“Online booking took place well before Covid-19, but the process was inefficient,” he said.

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