The national department of transport has confirmed that it plans to introduce new smart updated driver’s licence cards in two years time, reports Business Tech.
The department was making a presentation to the Parliamentary Committee on Public Transport on Wednesday, 6th May during which it stated that the latest development followed the discovery by officials that the initial card design meant for the production of the intended smart cards had been stolen – resulting in the conceptualization of the soon-to-be produced cards. The department uses its own in-house entity – the Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA) for card production.
The National Taxi Alliance (NTA), through its spokesperson, Theo Malele has welcomed the move. It said that as long as that would be for the benefit of motorists and resulting in good service, people should welcome “such good news”.
“From where we are seated, anything that enhances the skills of the drivers and motorists and also makes life easier for all of us would be welcomed. What is important is that it sounds like it would be a good thing,” added Malele.
But since 2015 the department also found that there were other challenges that included the urgent upgrading and improvement and now the replacement of the live capture units (LUC) with the Live Enrollment Units (LEUs).
“The DLCA embarked on a journey to modernize the card production environment and the introduction of a new driving licence card,” the department said in a statement.
The department said that the modernization of the DLCA will have other much-improved production elements that would, among others – include the reduction of the production turnaround from 12 to 7 days; the introduction of an electronic/ mobile driving licence; the creation of a platform for introducing e-services and the re-engineering of the DLCA process to allow for automation of support services and the elimination of the manual process.
Because of the coronavirus lockdown and its impact on the economy, the department has said it has lost an estimated R19-million a month – owing to the small numbers of people coming for renewal of their licences countrywide. It has urged motorists to apply for their licences on time and not wait for the lockdown to end because there could be a “possible sharp increase” in the applications for new cards.
The new licence cards will be available at the end of the 2021-2022 financial year.