Durban – SOME motorists were left confused after being made to pay penalties for vehicle-licence renewals when expiry dates fell within the national lockdown and before.
A motorist, who asked not to be named, said she had two vehicles, one with a licence that expired at the end of February and the other at the end of June.
She expected to pay penalties for the first vehicle but not when the centres were closed during the lockdown.
“The penalty is for March because since then, April and May, they were closed and there was no way of renewing it. They charged me penalties for all the months,” she said.
“My licence came to R1300.”
She said the centre refused to issue her licence after she paid the R1299. Staff said she had to pay for her second vehicle’s licence too. She paid it and was charged a month’s penalty.
She had gone to Goble Road Registering Authority because people she spoke to said it could be done there.
She waited for the Goble Road authority to open but it remained closed for weeks.
“I spoke to the team leader at Goble Road and she said she couldn’t help as it’s system driven.
“I said: ‘With the new law, you’re supposed to be overriding the system accordingly’. But they refused to hear that.”
Her friends and others told her that they didn’t have to pay penalties at the post office.
“I spoke to a few people who were at Goble Road and they were moaning that they were charged penalties.”
A BackChatter said the government had said there was a grace period for car and driving licences, because of the lockdown and venues being closed.
However, there was no mention of late penalty fees.
The DA in KwaZulu-Natal has called on Transport MEC Bheki Ntuli to request a further extension on the payment of vehicle licensing fees.
DA transport spokesperson Sharon Hoosen said the call was made after the DA was reliably informed that despite a waiver granted by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula because of the national lockdown, many KZN drivers were made to pay penalties for late renewals.
Ntuli was surprised by the information presented during the transport portfolio committee meeting on Tuesday.
He said Mbalula had gazetted the 90-day amnesty period for the further extension of expired licences.
“That was to enable the provincial regulatory entities and DLTCs (Driving Licence Testing Centres) sufficient time to deal with the backlog resulting from the lockdown. We know citizens have been severely affected and anyone experiencing challenges regarding their expired licenses must present their case to the department, so that each case can be investigated.”