Government plans to standardise South Africa’s Temporary Driving Licence (TDL) fees across all nine provinces, says transport minister Fikile Mbalula.
Answering in a recent written parliamentary Q&A session, Mbalula said fees vary from province to province – starting from as little as R54 to as high as R94.
Mbalula said that the change is primarily being made for administrative reasons, and so that government can offer a standardised service across all of its testing stations.
Thousands of South African motorists have relied on temporary driving licences after their licence card expired during the Covid-19 pandemic. This was exacerbated by a national licence card queue of more than a million cards as a result of the pandemic and a breakdown of the country’s only driving licence printing machine.
Motorists in South Africa can apply for a temporary driving licence if they have applied for the renewal of their expired licence or have lost their driver’s licence. This licence is valid for a period of six months and can be issued at any driving licence testing centre (DLTC).
Extensions and incentives
Mbalula also reiterated that the government will not be extending the current licence grace period, but is considering offering a ‘bouquet of incentives’ to encourage the public to comply before the end of March deadline date.
At present there is no subsidy for the people who cannot afford to pay for the TDL, he said.
The minister has warned that motorists who continue to drive with expired licences beyond this date will face fines and possible prosecution.
The national Covid-19 lockdown imposed on the country in 2020 and 2021 forced licencing centres to close, resulting in a massive backlog of expired vehicle and driving licences.
This was compounded after the country’s only licence printing machine broke down at the end of 2021, leaving approximately half a million motorists stuck with expired driving licence cards.
Mbalula had previously extended expired licences to 31 March 2022. This grace period covered all documents which expired in the period between 26 March 2020 and 31 August 2021.