CAPE TOWN – Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) and Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) request the renewal deadline to be extended further than the recent deadline extension of August 30, 2020.
Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, announced recently that the grace period of expired vehicle licenses will be extended with a renewal deadline of three months – making it up until August 30, this year – however, AA and JPSA aren’t happy about the short extension.
The appeal calls for the extension of expired license deadline as well as professional driving permits and especially for the difficulties learner drivers have faced to be considered by the Minister Fikile Mbalula.
The appeal points out that certain Driving Licence Testing Centres (DLTC) remain closed due to employee Covid-19 infections meaning certain road-users are needing to travel further distances to centres that are open.
The statement also mentioned the effects of hard-lockdown still in play as it has created a backlog with road-users waiting longer periods for licenses, creating longer queues with the surge of vehicle users looking to renew licenses and also created further issues with learner drivers missing out on driving lessons. All difficulties and safety hazards needing to be considered and supporting the call for an extension.
Learner driving licenses that have expired or yet to expire may cause high volumes of applicants to repeat. JPSA chairperson, Howard Dembovsky says that “This, in turn, has a counterintuitive effect on social distancing, particularly in DLTCs where bookings must be done in person.”
Dembovsky warns that licenses and permits to expired after the initial deadline too may cause a surge of its own and that the 3-month extension may prove to be counterintuitive with JPSA and AA asking for the extension period to be extended until the end of January 2021.
The AA says in their own appeal, “This extension also makes provision for the closure of DLTC’s over the festive period, and for further potential closures as a result of COVID-19 infections,” with the organisation offering to assist with license and permit renewals as well to help cope with the backlog and sudden demand.
For LIVE updates on the Coronavirus pandemic, follow us on Twitter: @sacoronamonitor