On Friday, Mbalula said the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) had researched and assessed more than 60 countries as part of assessing options for revising the driving license renewal period. He also said he consulted CMEs who fully support the review.
“Research found that countries ranked above South Africa according to WHO have an average driving license card validity period of 9.3 years and countries ranked below South Africa South with an average of 4.4 years,” he said.
Mbalula announced that he would approach the Cabinet with a proposal to increase the period of validity from five years to eight or ten years.
But, Reiner Duvenhage of AfriForum says their argument that driving licenses are permanently valid still stands.
“This extension that the cabinet minister is going to request, does not resolve the legal void that AfriForum has identified with its legal action,” he said.
“AfriForum’s legal action calls for the license card renewal period to be reviewed and removed, as we argue that the rules of the road state that driving licenses are valid indefinitely.”
AfriForum described the legislation prescribing the current renewal period as “unreasonable, arbitrary and vague”.
Duvenage also criticizes Mbalula’s announcement of Cabinet approval to replace the current license cards with a newer version with better security features.
He says the transportation department’s track record inspires very little confidence that they will be able to perform the task effectively.
“For example, the NaTIS system still does not work properly 15 years after it was set up. Second, Mbalula also said he would ask the cabinet to implement a renewal period of between eight and ten years,” Duvenage said.
Mbalula says he is not impressed with the court’s bid and will make an announcement on the issue raised once Cabinet has made a final decision.