Chikunga assures timely procurement of new driver’s license card machine

  • Technical Challenges and Backlogs: The article highlights persistent technical issues with the current driver's license card printers, causing intermittent breakdowns and backlogs in card issuance.
  • Assurances from Transport Minister: Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga assures the public of progress in procuring a new printing machine, promising the rollout of new driving license cards by the end of the month.
  • Concerns and Calls for Transparency: There are concerns raised by stakeholders, including OUTA, regarding the lack of transparency from the Department of Transport in handling the driver's license card issue, emphasizing the need for clear communication and accountability.
driver’s license card machine

Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga has reassured the public that the procurement of the new driver’s license machine is progressing as planned. The upcoming rollout of the new driving license cards is scheduled for the end of the month.

This comes in the wake of persistent technical issues plaguing the current card printers over the past few years. These issues have led to sporadic breakdowns and unavoidable backlogs in the issuance of driver’s license cards.

Minister Chikunga has stated that the acquisition of a new printing machine for the license cards is in its final stages.

“We are nearing the completion of the procurement process, as the team responsible had to travel to France to personally inspect the machine. While I cannot delve into the specifics, I can assure you that before the month’s end, we will commence printing driving licenses and initiate the distribution of the first 100 cards per province.”

Meanwhile, Stephanie Fick, the Executive Director for Accountability Division at the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuses (OUTA), has expressed concern over the Department of Transport’s delay in redesigning the driver’s license card.

Fick highlighted the lack of transparency from the department regarding the issuance of the new cards.

“The driver’s license matter has been contentious, particularly regarding the department’s transparency with motorists. The persistent issues with the card machine have caused widespread frustration, leading to delays in card printing. While the announcement of a new system and an extension of license card validity was welcomed, there remains a significant lack of clarity on the current status.”

Fick’s remarks underscore the growing frustration among motorists regarding the handling of the driver’s license card issue. Despite efforts to address the technical challenges, the lack of clear communication from the Department of Transport has left many in the dark about the progress and timelines for resolution.

The assurance from Minister Chikunga regarding the imminent procurement of a new printing machine is likely to offer some relief to motorists eagerly awaiting their driving license cards. However, questions linger regarding the overall transparency and efficiency of the process.

Moving forward, it is imperative for the Department of Transport to maintain open lines of communication with the public and provide regular updates on the status of the new printing machine and the rollout of the redesigned driver’s license cards. This transparency will not only alleviate concerns but also foster trust and confidence in the department’s ability to effectively manage critical services.

As the deadline for the rollout approaches, stakeholders, including motorists and advocacy groups like OUTA, will be closely monitoring developments to ensure that the transition to the new system is smooth and seamless. Any further delays or complications could exacerbate existing frustrations and erode public trust in the Department of Transport’s capacity to deliver essential services.

In addition to addressing the immediate challenges related to the driver’s license card issuance, there is also a broader need for the Department of Transport to implement measures to prevent similar issues from arising in the future. This may involve investing in more robust and reliable infrastructure, enhancing staff training and capacity-building initiatives, and implementing effective monitoring and oversight mechanisms.

By taking proactive steps to address both the short-term challenges and the underlying systemic issues, the Department of Transport can demonstrate its commitment to improving service delivery and ensuring a more efficient and transparent process for motorists seeking to obtain or renew their driver’s licenses.

In the meantime, motorists are advised to remain patient and vigilant, keeping abreast of updates from the Department of Transport and adhering to any interim measures put in place to mitigate the impact of the ongoing technical issues. With concerted efforts from all stakeholders, including government authorities, advocacy groups, and the public, it is possible to overcome the current challenges and establish a more resilient and responsive system for managing driver’s license issuance and other critical transportation services.

As the Department of Transport works towards resolving the issues with the driver’s license card printing process, it is essential for them to prioritize transparency, accountability, and stakeholder engagement. By keeping the public informed and involving relevant stakeholders in the decision-making process, the department can build trust and confidence in its ability to effectively address challenges and deliver quality services to the citizens of South Africa.

In conclusion, while the delays and technical issues surrounding the issuance of driver’s license cards have caused frustration and concern among motorists, there is optimism that the impending procurement of a new printing machine will mark a significant step towards resolving these challenges. However, it is essential for the Department of Transport to maintain open communication, address underlying systemic issues, and collaborate with stakeholders to ensure a smooth and efficient transition to the new system. By doing so, the department can enhance trust, reliability, and accountability in its delivery of essential transportation services to the people of South Africa.

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