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5 important things that happened in South Africa’s car industry this week

These were the five biggest stories in South Africa’s transport industry this week.

New number plates for South Africa – Not just Gauteng

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi announced that the National Department of Transport has developed a draft legislation on new number plates that will apply to all nine provinces in South Africa.

The new plates are intended to crack down on licence clonings and vehicle-related crimes, and will be linked to a national cloud-backed database and feature a unique QR code for easy identification and tracking.

Gauteng will be the first province to receive the new plates later this year.

E-tolls are officially dead

The process of officially de-linking and shutting down Gauteng’s controversial e-toll system will begin by the end of March 2024.

This was confirmed by Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi during his State of the Province Address on Monday, 19 February.

It was first announced that e-tolls would be scrapped as far back as October 2022, but the process has been met with numerous delays regarding the scheme’s outstanding debt and whether complaint motorists would be refunded.

Construction mafias force Cape Town to go quiet

The City of Cape Town will no longer reveal how much it spends on infrastructure projects owing to the risks posed by construction mafias.

Councillor Rob Quintas, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility, confirmed to TopAuto that the city does not disclose the value of its ongoing projects anymore due to extortion threats from these groups.

Last year, it was revealed that a road project to the value of R27.4 million received threats from a “mafia-style” extortion group that isn’t averse to resorting to murder to get what it wants.

The small South African village where illegal car smugglers rule

The Dludluma village in Mpumalanga is overrun by car smugglers at night who are taking stolen vehicles across the border into Mozambique.

The smugglers have also started recruiting the younger people in the village as there are few employment prospects in the area and the pay is high.

The South African Police Services (SAPS) have already recovered 30 vehicles in the area since the start of 2024, with most being traced back to Gauteng and Mpumalanga.

Renault cancels South African launch of compact Oroch bakkie

Renault has halted its launch of the Oroch bakkie in South Africa due to the continued deterioration of the rand.

The automaker confirmed to TopAuto that the declining exchange rate has made it challenging to launch the Oroch at a market-competitive rate.

The Duster-based bakkie was first confirmed for South Africa in 2021, but the last three years have seen the rand’s value drop substantially, making the Oroch more expensive to sell here than initially planned.

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