The civil rights organisation AfriForum will implement legal steps against the announcement made by Minister Fikile Mbalula on 7 March 2022, that Department of Transport will not be extending the grace period for expired driver’s licences beyond 31 March 2022. This despite the fact that the government remains unable to provide proper service delivery and many members of public having submitted their driver’s license applications several months ago.
AfriForum on 8 March 2022, instructed its lawyers to prepare a legal letter to the Department of Transport demanding that the grace period for the renewal of licences be extended for a reasonable period beyond 31 March 2022.
The civil rights organisation is further considering the possibility of taking on a trial case in the event that the grace period is not extended, and a member of the public is punished for driving without a valid licence as a result of government’s own inability to provide this service. This may set a legal precedent confirming the unlawfulness of punishing members of the public for the department’s own service delivery failures.
“If AfriForum is successful in obtaining a further extension of the licence grace period, it will give members of the public much-needed breathing space to finalize the renewal of their licenses. This is only fair since the current backlog of licence applications was caused by the departments own systemic and deep-rooted failures in the first place,” says Reiner Duvenage, Campaign Officer for strategy and content at AfriForum.
AfriForum has been at the forefront of the fight against the Department of Transport’s dreadful service delivery. In this regard, AfriForum submitted a formal complaint of corruption and mismanagement to the Office of the Public Protector in September 2021. The Public Protector confirmed the complaint is being investigated. In the beginning of 2022, AfriForum also recorded damning footage exposing the malfunctioning of the online NaTIS system and corruption at the Waltloo licencing office, which was sent to the Public Protector as additional proof for the claims in the complaint.
“Members of the public are frankly fed up with the department’s feeble excuses for its shocking standards of service delivery. This is why AfriForum is acting on behalf of its members and the broader public by continuing to apply pressure on the Department of Transport to fulfil its responsibility of providing proper service delivery,” concludes Duvenage.
Read the original article in Afrikaans on AfriForum