By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) says that civil society groups have misinterpreted proposed vehicle licence fees gazetted late last week.
The Automobile Association and civil action group Outa published statements on Tuesday (7 September) slamming the proposals for including a R250 online booking fee for licence renewals.
The AA said that this fee is for the booking only, and excludes the cost of the licence. Outa, meanwhile, called the proposals a money-making scheme, with the intention of extorting motorists.
However, responding to the groups, the RTMC said that the R250 fee is the same fee charged when applying for a new card, further noting that nothing has changed in terms of price.
The only change, it said, is that in future a motorist can opt to do these transactions online rather than at the driver licence testing centre.
"Transaction fees have remained unchanged at R72. The R250 is the cost currently paid when applying for a new card," the RTMC said, adding that all bookings for driver licences are done online, and no walk-ins are permitted.
NOTICE!!!— Road Traffic Management Corporation (@TrafficRTMC) September 7, 2021
Transaction fees have remained unchanged at R72, R250 is the cost currently paid when applying for a new card. Nothing has changed. The difference is that in future a motorist can opt to do these online rather than at the DLTC. @News24 @JacaNews @MbalulaFikile pic.twitter.com/O9EwS26HKL
The civil society groups also took aim at the entire licence application and renewal system, calling for changes.
"The driving licence renewal and vehicle registration system is broken and must be replaced. Yet amid all the delays and extensions the only viable option government sees is to announce new fees for services which aren’t actually rendered," the AA said.
Outa slammed the admin fees as excessive and said the terms used in the gazette were unclear, leading to the confusion.
The proposed fees – contained in a government gazette published last week – including a charge to motorists of R250 for online bookings to renew driving licences, R700 for online registrations of motor vehicles, and R700 for online change of ownership of motor vehicles.
These fees are additional to transaction fees of R72 for every transaction performed at the RTMC and R99 for the delivery of driving licence cards.