In a recent interview with eNCA, transport minister Fikile Mbalula said the South African government is moving ahead with introducing a new driver’s licence card to the country.
Mbalula said the cards will adhere to the standards of the “developed world”, but that the biggest hurdle to introducing them will be to get approval from the Cabinet, as reported by MyBroadband.
Additionally, the only licence card printing machine in South Africa is over 20 years old and was recently sent to Germany for repairs, after breaking down in November 2021.
However, Mbalula said no other country in the world uses this machine anymore and that the new card will make it necessary to buy a new printer.
The report added that Mbalula has asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to fast-track the required approval processes at upcoming Cabinet meetings, and that he will also announce interim plans to deal with the backlog of roughly 500,000 driver’s licence card renewals in the country.
A public announcement from Mbalula about these issues is expected soon.
Tender documents published in November 2021 reveal an accurate depiction of what South Africa’s new driver’s licence cards may look like.
The front of the card will include similar information to what is on existing licence cards, such as your full name, date of birth, ID number, gender, photo, and signature.
This is accompanied by the validity period of the card, date of issue, licence number, and licence code that allows you to drive certain vehicles.
To increase security, the licence card will feature an engraved, secondary image of the licence holder’s face with a special “security background”, as well as micro text.
The card body will then contain a pre-printed serial number for stock purposes, and be manufactured from polycarbonate, according to the tender proposal.
On the reverse side, the card’s unique serial number is printed in barcode format, along with any driver or vehicle restrictions that might apply to the licence holder.
This side also sees a QR code and “ghost image” to further increase security and avoid the production of fraudulent cards.
The new cards do not appear to have a place for your fingerprint, whereas the existing cards do.