Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula has officially opened two new driving licence centres in Gauteng, in an effort to alleviate the growing backlog of licence renewals.
The centres are located at the Road Traffic Management Corporation’s (RTMC) Centurion premises, as well as in Waterfall Office Park in Midrand.
Both centres allow for the renewal of driving licences, professional driving permits and the conversion of foreign driving licences.
They will operate from 7am until 9pm from Monday to Sunday.
“The centres will set a new benchmark in professionalism, efficiency and service delivery while helping us reduce the backlog of expired driving licences,” Mbalula said.
He said the centres have added 35,380 additional renewal slots per month, which is set to increase Gauteng’s capacity to renew licences by 48%.
This is projected to allow Gauteng to clear its licence renewal backlog by the end of March 2022, Mbalula said.
There is currently a backlog of 633,800 expired driver’s licences yet to be renewed.
Since the extension of the driving licence renewal period, Mbalula reported only 38,619 motorists renewed their licences.
“We do not preclude a possibility of additional penalties that may be imposed on those who fail to renew their driving licences by 31 March 2022,” the Minister said.
New and improved services
These centres are a test of more services to be added to improve efficiency, he added.
“In the coming months, the electronic payment gateway on the online application platform will be operational.
“First National Bank has been appointed as our preferred banking partner for this purpose and work towards rolling out the service is at an advanced stage,” Mbalula explained.
Online services will also be expanded to include the online registration of vehicles, notice of change of ownership, online vehicle licence renewables, and payments for online crash reports.
In addition, the RTMC has fitted two buses with equipment to serve as mobile centres to assist with licence renewables.
The process of finalising the operation of the buses, said to be deployed in Diepsloot and Alexandra, is in progress.
The RTMC has also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) for motorists to make use of private optometrists.
These optometrists will soon have authority to upload eye test results directly to the Electronic National Administration Traffic Information System (eNatis).
“With the signature of this MOU, we are now moving to the implementation stage of this new innovation,” Mbalula said.