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The Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, published a draft amendment to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) Regulations, 2007 in the Government Gazette Nr. 45085 on 3 September 2021.
With the draft amendment open for public comment, it is essential to note that the gazette regulates fees potentially billable for NaTIS related services.
In the draft amendment, the Department earmarked several fees for services the Road Traffic Management Corporation will require.
For example, a fee of R250 for an online booking for the renewal of a credit card format driving licence. As well as a R72 transaction fee and an additional fee of R99 for delivery.
The list of the amended fees are as follows:
|2(3)a||Issuance and delivery of a motor vehicle licence and disc via registered mail||R28|
|Issuance and delivery of a motor vehicle licence and disc via registered mail||R72|
|Issuance and delivery of a motor vehicle licence and disc via courier service||R99|
|2(3)(b)||Online registration of a motor vehicle by the title holder||R700|
|2(3)(c)||Online notification of change of ownership by the current title holder||R700|
|2(3)(d)||Online booking for the renewal of credit card format driving licence||R250|
|2(3)(e)||Delivery of a credit card format driving licence||R99|
|2(3)(f)||Request for an electronic copy of the Accident Report||R60|
The Automobile Association (AA) has voiced its disdain for the draft amendment, stating, “Proposed amended fees for services offered by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) announced by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula are beyond outrageous and show deep contempt for the citizens of South Africa.”
In addition, the AA says the proposed fees – seen in the context of the poor to non-existent service delivery rendered by the RTMC currently – seek to extract as much revenue from already cash-strapped citizens without providing any associated benefit to them.
The Association further says, “The proposed fees – contained in a Government Gazette published late last week – demonstrate a lack of sensitivity to the current plight of motorists who simply cannot renew their driving licences.”
Continuing by saying, “the proposals include a charge to motorists of R250 for online bookings to renew driving licences (for the booking only, excluding the actual cost of the licence), R700 for online registrations of motor vehicles, and R700 for online change of ownership of motor vehicles. These fees are additional to so-called transaction fees of R72 for every transaction performed at the RTMC and R99 for the delivery of driving licence cards.”
The AA adds that the proposed fees must be seen in the context of the RTMC’s stated surplus for 2019/2020, closing on R262 million. Which, according to the Association, already indicates motorists are being substantially over-charged for services rendered by the Corporation.
The proposed fees should be seen in the context of the R9.3m annual remuneration of RTMC CEO Advocate Makhosini Msibi, who is responsible for ensuring all its systems work.
Moreover, the Association notes, “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. Why should citizens who are already paying taxes be expected to pay even more simply to make online bookings? This all amounts to ‘double-dipping’ by government purely aimed at revenue generation with no benefit at all to motorists, and with no tangible evidence of improved road safety in the country.”
Road safety is the core function of the RTMC, yet road fatalities remain at historic high levels. The AA questions how a surplus of close to R262m is possible given the country’s roads’ dire state and that more money is now expected to be extracted from motorists for online licence renewals.
The Association adds that publishing the proposals and the actual content of the gazette—is also an insult to citizens.
“These proposals are published at a time when millions of motorists cannot renew their licences through no fault of their own, and a time when many people are struggling financially. Yet government thinks it’s wise to add to citizen’s misery by suggesting excessively high rates to perform even the most basic functions which should already be covered by the Transport Budget financed through taxes,” declares the AA.
The Association says it will make a formal submission to the Department of Transport highlighting its concerns. It is launching an online petition against the proposed fees to collect signatures to support its bid, which must be made before Monday, 4 October.
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