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Tuesday / 16 July 2024
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South Africa is getting a new driver’s licence sooner than expected

The Department of Transport (DoT) confirmed that it will launch a new driver’s licence card for South Africa this financial year, before the end of March 2024.

The previous initiation date was set just under a year away from now in April 2024, said DoT spokesman Collen Msibi speaking with Newzroom Afrika, but the department has brought it forward so instead of now having to wait another 10 months for the new cards to be introduced, they will be introduced within the next 10 months.

“We are quite confident that at the end of this financial year, we should be able to tell the nation that we do have a new card system,” said Msibi.

The new licence is starting with a pilot project that will run for four months to assess whether it works as intended, he said, and thereafter it will be introduced to the entire country. The transition period from the old to the new card is expected to take around five years.

This is the second time the DoT has approached Cabinet with a proposed new licencing scheme, the first time being unsuccessful because the department “could not find a suitable service provider to do the work,” said Msibi.

New licence card for South Africa

New licence, new printer

The new licence will have more security features than before which necessitates the purchase of a new printing machine to replace the ageing device we are currently using, which was first installed in 1998 and has produced over 60 million cards to date.

Thankfully, this time around the DoT also won’t be relying on just one printer to manufacture all the licences.

“We will have new machines with backup, we’re not quite sure in terms of the configuration because it’s part of the tender process that is being undertaken at the moment, but indeed we’re going to have new modernised machines,” said Msibi.

“This machine we have [now], it’s been there since 1998 so it’s quite an old technology. [With the new machine] we’re going to have a new technology in place and we are quite confident that we won’t have these problems we are having at the moment.”

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