Onus on the owners
Drivers must make a plan as licence delays continue
AS we continue through March, there is still no clear explanation of the ongoing delays regarding the issuing of vehicle licence discs. This is a problem associated with the non- issuance of vehicle licence renewal letters to motorists.
The Automobile Association ( AA) continues to receive numerous queries daily regarding this problem, and the steps motorists must take to resolve the issue.
It is our understanding that the issuing of the vehicle licence renewal letters relates to the control of the electronic National Traffic Information System ( eNatis). The system is currently managed by a company called Tasima. In December 2015, the Supreme Court of Appeal ( SCA) overturned an earlier high court ruling that Tasima hand over the system to the Department of Transport and the Road Traffic Management Corporation ( RTMC).
While the authorities are silent on the numbers, our experience is that the bulk of motorists who should be receiving licence renewal letters, are not. This complicates the issuing of new licence discs, and is resulting in unnecessary delays at licencing authorities, as motorists must now complete a renewal document before having their applications dealt with; a process that was previously streamlined by issuing the renewal form with all the relevant detail attached.
Despite these issues, the AA has been assured by the South African Post Office ( Sapo) that it is processing applications. In a written reply to our queries, the Sapo said:
“We have experienced occasional isolated incidences where the eNatis network has been temporarily offline, and on each occasion Tasima is notified to address the technical glitch as the vehicle renewal processes operate on a separate IT platform to the SA Post Office. Motorists who are not in possession of renewal notices are furnished with a renewal form to complete onsite at the SA Post Office branches, and this form can be fully completed within a short period of time.
“As the SA Post Office did not anticipate the volumes of motorists seeking to renew their vehicle licences while not in possession of renewal notices, we have experienced some incidents in other SA Post Office branches where the demand for the renewal forms surpassed our supply.
“This situation is currently being addressed to speed up the vehicle renewal processes in each outlet.”
While the AA is pleased that the Sapo is attempting to assist motorists as far as it can, we believe the root cause of the issues needs to be proactively addressed to avoid the potential risks associated with non- renewals.
“All efforts by the Department of Transport, both nationally and locally, need to be intensified to unblock this problem. Motorists who experience excessive delays in renewing their vehicle licence discs may, at some point, procrastinate in renewing their licences and inadvertently create a situation that may result in many unlicensed cars on our roads,” the AA said.
The AA has also advised motorists to check their licence discs themselves to ascertain when they expire. This will also avoid you having to be reminded of your disc expiring by traffic police who clearly seem to be focusing their efforts on checking for expired licence discs. “A good idea is to put a reminder on your cellphone to warn you when the licence disc is up for renewal. Whether you get a reminder in the mail or not, renewing your licence is still your responsibility, one you should take very seriously,” the AA said.
To ensure a smoother experience when renewing your licence disc, remember to take identification with you, along with a proof of residence.
According to the Sapo, this proof of residence can include a utility, clothing or telephone ( landline or cellphone) account. If the account is not in your name, the person in whose name it is, must provide an affidavit or affirmation that you live there. The forms to be completed can be collected from Sapo branches beforehand to complete before going in. Renewal forms can also be downloaded from http:// www. enatis . com
‘ Put a reminder on your cellphone to warn you when the licence disc is up for renewal