The Department of Transport has extended the deadline for driving licence renewals once again, Minister Fikile Mbalula stated in new regulations gazetted today.
The Disaster Management Act has been amended to facilitate the extension for the validity period of driver’s licences until 31 August 2021.
Licences which will have their validity extended to this date include the following:
Any of the above which expired after 26 March 2020 are still deemed to be valid.
“All learner’s licences, driving licence cards, temporary driving licences and professional driving permits that expire during the period that commenced from 26 March 2020 up to and including 31 December 2020 are deemed to be valid and their validity periods are extended for a further grace period ending on 31 August 2021,” the document states.
This amendment is effective immediately.
The deadline extension for the renewal of these licences follows after a huge backlog of 320,000 driver’s licences was uncovered last month.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said at the time that this was growing by 90,000 each month.
He said the backlog was caused by corrupt staff at driving licence testing centres, while Gauteng MEC for public transport and roads infrastructure Jacob Mamabolo said government officials were the cause of the problem.
While not directly mentioning corruption, Mamabolo hinted at something “dodgy” going on at driving licence testing centres.
Mbalula echoed Mamabolo’s concerns, saying “it is all corruption – it is a problem which is happening in the back office,” he said.