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SA number plate confusion: Department of Transport responds

2016-08-12 14:52

NEW PLATES: The Department of Transport will introduce new number plates though has yet to confirm when the rollout will begin. Image: Wheels24

Cape Town - Earlier in August, Wheels24 reported that South African motorists are set to receive new number plates.

Readers were quick to react with the majority believing that the proposed number plates are a bad idea.

News of the new number plates first came to light in 2015 when the department sent out a notice informing South Africans of its intended plan of action.  

Initially the Department of Transport (DoT) denied that it intends to replace vehicle number plates, claiming that the proposal is a fabrication. Mere days later the DoT stated that SA would in fact receive new plates, though did not confirm when the rollout would begin. The department did however confirm that there would be a consultation period which would include public input.

Government responds

The Department of Transport has released a statement regarding its plans to introduce new number plates on Thursday.

Working with the Minister and Members of Executive Council (MinMec*), the DoT says it's considering various options, including the use of the national flag as well as the Provincial Coat of Arms, to improve on road safety.

The department said: "As part of the new improvements to our number plates, the regulations will ensure that manufacturers are regulated to ensure that we can account for every motor vehicle number plate that is issued through coding."

READ: PICS - SA drivers to sport new licence plates

The department says that the new number plates will be less prone to security threats and that it will mitigate abuse by unregistered number plate manufacturers.

“The operability of the current South African number plate is prone to abuse by unregistered number plate manufacturers. Equally, the system in its current form is also taken advantage of by criminals who clone vehicles and commit other forms of crime,” the statement continues to read.

The process

SAnews.gov reports that MinMec is considering inputs derived from the public consultation process as well as "research and expert submissions" to the DoT. Once the consultation phase is complete, the matter will be presented to cabinet.

The department said: “The security features of the number plates are also part of the broad road safety strategy, which will ensure that we have the right vehicles on our roads, which to a larger extent contribute to the road fatalities and carnage on our roads.” 

Read the full statement here.

*MinMec comprises the minister and deputy minister of transport, the members of provincial executive councils (MECs) responsible for transport and other key officials. 


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