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Nzimande vows to clear driving licence backlog of 194 000 cards

Apr 04 2019 13:36
Khulekani Magubane, Fin24

Minister of Transport Blade Nzimande says his department’s production team was "working overtime" to clear a backlog of close to 200 000 driving licence cards.

In a reply to a Parliamentary question from Democratic Alliance MP Christiaan Hunsinger, Nzimande said the delay in issuing licenses was caused by a systems upgrade to production machinery, and a 2018 labour dispute by the employees producing the cards.

Employees embarked on a five-month strike last year, stopping the production of cards and creating a backlog.  

At issue during the strike was the department's decision to outsource a contract with Prodiba for licence card production. The Driving Licence Card Account eventually opted to in-source card production and the strike ended in December.

In his written question, Hulsinger noted that members of the public complained of prolonged delays in the issuing of licenses, and licencing centres asking the public to redo various tests and applications for their licence cards.

"The production team worked overtime to address the backlog. In January, there was a backlog of 250 000 cards, which was addressed on February. As at March, there was a backlog of 194 000, cards which was caused by a delay in the delivery of material. This backlog will be addressed by April," said Nzimande.

Self-driving cars need appropriate legislation first

In a separate question, EFF MP Nontando Nolutshungu asked Nzimande whether any "driverless" cars existed or were currently operating in South Africa, and whether the Department of Transport planned to prepare for their mass production and operation in SA.

Nzimande replied: "There are currently no driverless cars on the country’s roads. Yes, there are plans, but not in the immediate [future], due to policy and legislative amendments that would need to take place."

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