CAR-LICENCE PAIN: Many administrations in SA are battling to cope with a huge vehicle-licence backlog. Image: Sergio Davids
Johannesburg - Major changes to SA vehicle and driver licensing has caused a huge backlog as administrations (traffic departments etc) in SA battle to cope.
We asked users in February "what's your biggest gripe when renewing your car licence?" and a News24 poll garnered 35 433 votes.
In March 2016, thousands of car owners are still battling to renew their licences.
Automobile Association responds
The Automobile Association (AA) says it receives numerous queries regarding this problem.
AA said: "As we enter March 2016, there is still no clear explanation of the ongoing delays regarding the issuing of vehicle license discs.
"This is a problem associated with the non-issuance of vehicle license renewal letters to ride.
Why is there a backlog?
The AA said: "While the authorities are silent on the numbers, our experience is that the bulk of motorists who should be receiving license renewal letters, are not.
"This complicates the issuing of new license discs, and is resulting in unnecessary delays at licensing authorities, as motorists must now complete a renewal document before having their applications dealt with; a process that was previously streamlined by issuing the renewal form with all the relevant detail attached."
What's your biggest car-licence gripe? 35 000 users respond
South African Post Office responds
The AA says it has been assured by the South African Post Office (SAPO) that the institution is currently processing applications.
According to a written reply by Sapo: “We have experienced occasional isolated incidences where the eNaTIS network has been temporarily offline, and on each occasion Tasima is notified to address the technical glitch as the vehicle renewal processes operate on a separate IT platform to the SA Post Office.
“Motorists that are not in possession of renewal notices are furnished with a renewal form to complete onsite at the SA Post Office branches, and this form can be fully completed within a short period of time.
“As the SA Post Office did not anticipate the volumes of motorists seeking to renew their vehicle licenses while not in possession of renewal notices, we have experienced some incidents in other SA Post Office branches where the demand for the renewal forms surpassed our supply. This situation is currently being addressed to speed up the vehicle renewal processes in each outlet.”
Root cause of the problem
AA believes the root cause of the licensing debacle needs to be addressed to avoid the potential risks associated with non-renewals.
The AA warned: “All efforts by the Department of Transport, both nationally and locally, need to be intensified to unblock this problem. Motorists who experience excessive delays in renewing their vehicle license discs may, at some point, procrastinate in renewing their licenses and inadvertently create a situation that may result in many unlicensed cars on our roads.”
Tips for renewing your licence:
The AA has also advised car owners to check their license discs, this will also avoid you having to be reminded of your disc expiring by traffic police who, says the AA, "clearly seem to be focusing their efforts on checking for expired license discs".
To ensure a smoother experience when renewing your license disc, remember to take identification with you, along with a proof of residence. According to Sapo this proof of residence can include a utility, clothing or telephone (landline or cellphone) account. If the account is not in your name, the person in whose name it is, must provide an affidavit or affirmation that you live there.
Forms can be collected from Sapo branches beforehand to complete before going in.
Renewal forms can also be downloaded here.