Driver’s Licence Card Printer Still Broken, Traffic Departments Nationwide Experience Severe Backlog

Driver’s Licence Card Printer Still Broken, Traffic Departments Nationwide Experience Severe Backlog

  • The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse conducted an investigation which found that the driver's licence card printer is 20 years old
  • The investigation also found that the broken printing machine is the only one in South Africa, which has caused a severe backlog at traffic departments
  • To ensure they are not caught with an expired driver's licence, drivers have to get a temporary driver's licence which costs R90 each

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JOHANNESBURG - The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) conducted an investigation which found that the machine used to print driver's licences cards is not only 20 years old, but has also been broken since November 2021.

This has caused a severe backlog at traffic departments across South Africa as 383 000 people are waiting for their new driver's licence cards to be issued. The issue is exacerbated by the fact that the broken machine is the only one of its kind in South Africa, meaning that there is no other way to get the cards printed until the machine is fixed.

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To ensure they are not caught with an expired driver's licence, drivers have to get a temporary driver's licence which costs R90 each. It is estimated that a total of R45 million will be paid by drivers who need temporary licences, MyBroadband reports.

Traffic Department, driver's licence, temporary driver's licence, South Africa
South Africans will have to pay R90 for a temporary driver's licence due to the backlog for licence cards. Image: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Wayne Duvenage, the chief executive of OUTA, said that he is stunned that South Africa only has one driver's licence card printer and that the government has not gotten other machines to lighten the load.

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According to IOL, the Department of Transport previously said that the printer broke down due to flood damage, which caused Duvenage to question why the sole driver's licence card printer is not better protected.

“Ain’t this machine protected? We don’t even know whether that is the real reason. It was an old machine and probably not maintained, but whatever it is, it is not an excuse,” he said.

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South Africa reacts to driver's licence card machine breakdown

@AshLuvsCaffeine remarked:

"I refuse to pay for a temporary license!"

@steyn_riaan said:

"@MYANC - Addressing corruption in 2022. Same old same."

@nerdambivert believes:

"Nothing new here."

@lwandleduma79 shared:

"Renewed my driver's license in September. I was told six weeks, now I'm told I must come back end of February it will be ready."

@DelilahBean said:

"Your driver's license does not expire, only the card expires. This will be an interesting distinction for the insurance companies, who will doubtless duck their way out of paying!"

Make driver's licences valid for 10 years, says Outa following reports of severe backlog in traffic department

In earlier news about the traffic department's backlog, Briefly News previously reported that the Outa, an NGO that champions issues relevant to civil society, has called for the government to extend the validity period of driver's licences to 10 years.

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Make driver's licences valid for 10 years, says Outa following reports of severe backlog in traffic department

The current five-year period has caused backlogs at many traffic departments across South Africa, says Outa. Wayne Duvenage, the chief executive of the NGO, said that most of these backlogs are caused by constant technical issues facing the current system, such as printing machines requiring repairs.

Furthermore, Duvenage also cited administrative delays and corruption as reasons for the delays in renewing driver's licences. Outa believes that renewing one's driver's licence should be a smooth and efficient process.

Source: Briefly News

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