Oz collector needs help
DEAR Wheels readers, I am a keen number plate collector and have turned up a plate which is a bit of a mystery, however the money is on it being from South Africa.
The rectangular plate is cast in aluminium with the letters SA to the left vertically aligned and the numbers 1.128 and the name RENOVIA across the bottom. On the website of Registration Plates of the World the historical notes on South Africa reports that Durban and Pietermaritzburg issued registration numbers for cars in 1898, with vehicles displaying the name of the borough and a serial number.
Vehicles were registered under local regulations in Johannesburg commencing in 1902 for normal series and 1905 for trade plates. 1903 photographs show cars in Cape Town with white on black plates, 10 and 262. A 1910 photograph in Johannesburg shows a black on white plate, Z 1.
The Provincial Motor Ordinance came into effect on January 1, 1914; authorising the first issue of plates in the four provinces which then existed.
However, there are very few old South African plates around and nobody has a clue as to where this plate really is from. The earliest plates post the Road Traffic Act of 1913 seems to hold true, but anything prior to this is a big mystery. My question then: Was Renovia a small town or suburb of Durban or Pietermaritzburg that underwent a name change? Any thoughts or comments would be welcome and any links to very old historic photos of South African cars with plates would be ideal.
Please advise me on Jim.Gordon@riotinto.com
Where does the third plate from the top, “SA 1.128 Renovia” hail from?