The country’s only driving licence card printer has broken down – again.
The department of transport said it undertook routine maintenance of its driving licence card processing machine from 5-19 April, but it ran into a problem.
“The technical team encountered a technical breakdown that requires a replacement of a critical part from the original equipment manufacturer,” department spokesman Collen Msibi said. Card production is expected to resume in the next two or three weeks, he said.
However, Msibi reassured South Africans that the printing of driving licence cards would not be affected. “The department is encouraging members of the public to continue applying for their driving licence cards as normal.”
In October 2022, the department experienced a backlog in the printing of licences after the card machine broke down and had to be sent to Germany to be fixed. Before that, in December 2021, a huge backlog in processing new cards occurred due to a breakdown of the machine caused by flooding.
Fikile Mbalula, then transport minister, said at the time that a new machine would be imported to upgrade the service.
Mbalula said the system was old, and no other country in the world was still using such a machine.
“We are not looking at that machine as a permanent feature,” he said. “That is why we are producing a new card. It’s going to be a new card, a new machine, which is on par with the developed world. We should have long ago changed this but, nonetheless, once cabinet approves it, new machines are going to come.” — © 2023 NewsCentral Media