Fewer delays in issuing of licences
Residents of the Southern Cape seem to be less affected by the ongoing industrial action in the production of licence cards by the Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA) in Pretoria. While the processing of applications for new licence cards and renewals is decentralised, all cards are produced and issued by the DLCA.
The DCLA is a trading entity of the National Department of Transport and the delay initially affected applicants from all over South Africa.
In George the waiting time has reverted to between four and six weeks, with more or less the same waiting time reported in Swellendam, Graaff Reinet and Oudtshoorn.
All telephone enquiries directed at departments that could be reached, were handled promptly and efficiently. All the departments reached were able to supply the information immediately and the friendly assistance of the Oudtshoorn department stood out.
Drivers who apply for a driving licence card renewal on or before the expiry date pay R140 for the new card. They may continue to drive for a maximum of three months, provided they are in possession of their application receipts and their old cards.
Drivers who apply after their licences have expired, pay R140 for the new card and must also apply for a temporary licence at an additional cost of R45. Temporary driving licences are valid for six months.
In spite of the problem being alleviated, the industrial action in Pretoria still continues. The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) encourages members of the public to apply for their replacement cards well in advance.
It should be noted that any delays are outside the control of the local traffic departments and the DTPW.
Application receipts and old licence cards may only be used for three months from the application date.
The department will keep the public informed of any further developments. This dispute can only be resolved at national level and some delays may persist until such time as the dispute is resolved.
Striking employees of the Driving Licensing Card and Account Department have vowed to intensify their cause, with the support of #NotInMyName.
The workers claim their strike action, in its third month, has led to delays in issuing driving licences. The workers refuse to renew their contracts, demanding permanent employment from the Department of Transport. They told the Pretoria News that there was a backlog of more than 450 000 driving licence cards, which was growing every day.
They have been staging a sit-down outside the employers' offices in Pretoria for months. The employees said since the standoff, the production plant had come to a complete standstill.
Transport Minister Blade Nzimande recently assured motorists they would receive their licences as contingency plans had been put in place.
These appear to be effective, but any readers experiencing a delay can bring it to our notice by sending an e-mail to Autodealer at anica@ groupeditors.co.za.