The department of transport has a backlog of 324,000 driving licence cards that are yet to be printed following delays caused by a labour dispute.
“Between July and December 2018, we have received more than a million card orders and have printed more than 700,000 cards,” said transport minister Blade Nzimande.
He said the 324,000 cards would be printed in the next three weeks.
Nzimande said he was monitoring a contingency plan to recover production time lost during the dispute with employees who were contracted to the Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA).
“To recover the lost production time, the DLCA has been implementing a contingency plan to adhere to standard production practices and reduce the waiting period,” Nzimande said.
The affected employees resumed duties in December, pending the finalisation of the dispute at the General Public Service Sector Bargaining Council (GPSSBC).
The dispute occurred during the annual production maintenance period when production machines were serviced, the department said.
Nzimande said his department had issued a directive to provincial and municipal traffic authorities to not penalise motorists who complied with the prescripts of the application and renewal of their driving licences but did not have them.
“Where drivers have already been fined by traffic officers, they must apply for the revocation of enforcement order through the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA),” he said.
He said the form to be completed was downloadable on the RTIA website www.aarto.gov.za and the form can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants can also call the RTIA call centre on 0861227861,” said Nzimande.
Motorists who renewed their driving licences three months before expiration are also exempt from fines. Those drivers are expected to produce a valid receipt given upon renewal. New licence applicants are also exempt from fines.
“This category is automatically required by law to apply for temporary driver’s licences upon passing their driver’s test. They are not required to reapply for a temporary licence if or when their temporary licence expires.
“They are fully liable for payment for their temporary licences,” said the department.
Nzimande “earnestly apologised” to citizens for the inconvenience they had been subjected to.