Thanks to a nationwide backlog of driver’s licence renewals at the Driving Licence Testing Centres (DLTC), 1,476,853 South Africans have expired licences. That’s a very specific number. With that in mind, Gauteng’s Public Transport and Roads Infrastructure MEC Jacob Mamabolo gazetted changes that will allow the Gautrain to help service these people.
But you can’t drive the trains
This means the trusty Gauteng-based railway system’s stations will now function as a DLTC in some respects. It won’t have the ability (or permission) to test for driver’s licences, for example. It will be able to a) substitute a driving licence of any code contained in an identity document and b) issue new or duplicate driving licence cards.
“The Gauteng MEC Jacob Mamabolo has delegated Gautrain to render DLTC functions. In terms of the provisions of section 18 of the Road Traffic Management Corporation Act, out of the 10 functional areas driving licences is of its competencies.”
“However, the power vests with the MECs in the provinces to open DLTCs or delegate municipalities or other agencies to render these services,” says Transport minister Fikile Mbalula.
It’s important to note that the station will need permission from the provincial government before it can start issuing licences. In addition, there’s no indication of when Gauteng residents can start flocking to the train station and start queueing for that shiny new licence card quite yet.
As it stands, “Gauteng accounts for 509,888 driving licence cards not yet renewed, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with a backlog of 242,170 cards, and the Western Cape with 192,519 cards,” according to Business Insider.