Ongoing problems with the application and issuing of learner’s and driver’s licences are being experienced across the country, with the Western Cape and Gauteng being affected the most.

City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith said that those waiting to receive their new licence cards can expect further delays, “as the situation at the Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA) in Pretoria has yet to see any significant improvement.”

Driving licence cards are issued by the DLCA, a trading entity of the National Department of Transport.

Four months of industrial action in July 2018, as well as damage to the interface system between the card production facility and the National Traffic information system (NaTIS) after its annual maintenance, are said to be some of the cause of these nationwide delays.

A third issue hindering the process is the  poor state of the Live Enrollment Units (LEUs), systems that are used to perform eye tests on learner’s and driving licence applicants as well as those applying for licence card renewals. The LEUs are in dire need of a software upgrade and as a result are not functioning well.

“The technical assistance required from the DLCA is lacking and further compounds the problem. Without eye tests, licence and card applications cannot be completed,” said Smith.

Applicants are not allowed to provide letters from optometrists and must complete the eye tests at the testing facilities.

The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works has been urging the National Department of Transport, the DLCA and the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) to address the problems.

Western Cape Transport and Public Works MEC Donald Grant said that the National Department of Transport has not kept their word.

“To date, various commitments have been made but little progress has been made by the National Department of Transport to effectively address these very urgent issues.”

Driving licence card renewals before the the card’s expiry date cost R140, while applicants who apply to renew their licence cards after the expiry date must pay R140 plus an additional R45 for a temporary licence. Temporary licences are only valid for six months and can be obtained while drivers are still waiting for their new licence card.

Motorists may continue to drive for a maximum of three months as long as they are equipped with their application receipts or old cards. If their temporary licence expires before they receive their new card, they will have to apply for a second temporary licence but will not be charged for it.

Members of the public can check the application of their status by SMSing their identification number to 33214, a system that has been set up by the DLCA.

Applicants will receive one of these responses: 

Status Message
Order not received and unknown ID

 

DLCA does not have an application for this ID number
Order received by CPF

 

Dear [Initials],[Surname] – your order has been received and is awaiting production
Order in production

 

Dear [Initials],[Surname] – your order is currently in production
Order produced and posted

 

Dear [Initials],[Surname] – your order cards has been produced. Kindly wait for collection SMS

Smith said the City is committed to resolving the issue and alleviating long waiting periods locals’ frustration.

“We are aware of the frustration that is being experienced daily as a result of this failure by the National Department of Transport and its agencies, but we would like to assure the citizens of the Western Cape that we are doing all that we can to mitigate the inconvenience, and find a permanent solution to the issues currently plaguing the system.”

Picture: Pexels

Article written by

Ishani Chetty

Ishani is a vegetarian who is passionate about animals, social issues, the environment and current affairs.