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Gauteng Premier Announces Pilot Rollout of New Number Plates

  • Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi announces a pilot rollout of new number plates, initially limited to government vehicles.
  • The decision to delay the rollout for the general public is due to the need to finalize a national plan with the National Department of Transport.
  • The introduction of the new number plates aims to enhance safety and security, addressing concerns over counterfeit plates and the depletion of alphanumeric combinations in the current system.
New Number Plates

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi has revealed that the province’s plans for implementing new number plates, originally slated to commence on April 1, 2024, will now be limited to government vehicles as part of a pilot program. The decision to delay the rollout for the general public stems from the need to finalize a national plan in conjunction with the National Department of Transport.

During his State of the Province address on February 19, Premier Lesufi outlined the province’s intention to align its new number plate system with a national initiative that is still in the draft stage. He emphasized the importance of incorporating security features into Gauteng’s plates, a key aspect of the proposed national legislative framework.

As of April 1, 2024, the province will initiate a pilot program for its new “track and trace” system, initially focusing on government vehicles. Premier Lesufi clarified that the extension to the general public will occur once the transport minister finalizes the bill, indicating a shift from previous statements suggesting a broader rollout encompassing individual vehicle owners renewing their license discs.

Contrary to earlier announcements, which implied a comprehensive overhaul of the current number plate system, Premier Lesufi’s latest remarks suggest a more phased approach. While speaking at the launch of the Gauteng-VumaCam partnership, he had previously indicated a requirement for all vehicle owners in the province to re-register and obtain new, tamper-proof registration numbers.

The decision to limit the initial rollout to government vehicles reflects a reevaluation of the implementation strategy, with a focus on addressing concerns raised regarding feasibility and logistical challenges.

The motivation behind the introduction of these new number plates is primarily centered on enhancing safety and security within Gauteng. Premier Lesufi has consistently highlighted the role of stolen and hijacked vehicles in perpetrating crimes across the province, often facilitated by the use of counterfeit or duplicate number plates.

Furthermore, the premier highlighted the impending exhaustion of the current alphanumeric combinations within the existing number plate system, necessitating the introduction of more advanced, high-tech alternatives. This move aligns with broader efforts to modernize infrastructure and improve efficiency within the transportation sector.

While the Department of Transport has been pursuing the harmonization of national plates for nearly a decade, the complexities involved in achieving this goal have led to delays and ongoing discussions. The introduction of Gauteng’s new number plates represents a significant step towards achieving greater uniformity and security within the national vehicle registration framework.

In light of these developments, further clarification from the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport regarding the specifics of the new plates and their rollout is warranted. Updates will be provided as additional information becomes available.

As South Africa continues to grapple with various challenges related to transportation and public safety, the introduction of innovative solutions such as trackable number plates underscores the government’s commitment to addressing these issues proactively. While the timeline for the full implementation of the new system remains uncertain, the pilot program represents a crucial first step towards realizing this vision.



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