The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has expressed concern that motorists are not taking full advantage of the driver’s licence renewal grace period.
In a statement on Tuesday (16 November), RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane urged motorists whose licences expired at the start of the lockdown to renew them now “and not wait for the last minute.”
Slow progress of driver’s licence renewal
Data from two recently opened driver’s licence renewal centres show that only 25 percent of applications are from people affected by the lockdown and covered by the grace period’s extension, Zwane said. 75 percent of applications are from motorists not exempted by the extension.
“As a result, the backlog of driving licence cards that expired between 26 March 2020 and 31 August 2021 is moving slowly. The backlog now stands at 1,476,853,” Zwane added.
“Gauteng accounts for 509,888 driving licence cards not yet renewed, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 242,170, Western Province 192,519, Limpopo 134,886, Mpumalanga 122,566, Eastern Cape 107,601, Free State 71,165, North West 69,350 and Northern Cape 26,708.
“Motorists are warned not to be complacent as the March 2022 deadline is fast approaching and chances are that another extension will not be granted. It remains a great concern that 30 percent of applicants who book for renewals on the online platform do not show up to finalise the application.”
Motorists wishing to renew their driver’s licences can book online by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (If you’re in Gauteng) or email@example.com. Alternatively, they can do so via the Natis website here.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula recently opened two driving licence centres in Gauteng, thereby boosting available capacity in the province by 26,000 slots per month.
The two RTMC-operated centres are located in Waterfall Office Park in Midrand and Eco-Origins Park in Centurion. Their operating hours are from 7am to 9m daily, including Saturday and Sunday.
“All other provinces, except the Northern Cape, have introduced extended operating hours in 106 major centres and are opening on weekends in an effort to clear the backlog,” Zwane noted.
In August, Mbalula extended the renewal grace period until 31 March 2022 in an effort to clear the massive backlog.
“All learner’s licences, driving licence cards, temporary driving licences and professional driving permits that expire during the period that commenced from 26 March 2020 up to and including 31 August 2021 are deemed to be valid and their validity periods are extended for a further grace period ending on 31 March 2022,” he said.