Get off the beaches, and start queuing: Government accused of double standards

Despite record numbers of Covid infections you must still queue to pay for licence renewals

All motor vehicle licence discs, temporary permits and roadworthy certificates that expired between March 26 and May 31 were deemed to be valid and their validity period was extended for a further grace period. The grace period has not been extended
Image: Denis Droppa

The government has chased everybody off the beaches, but insists they queue up to renew their car licence discs.

The contradiction makes no sense according to the DA transport spokesperson Tim Brauteseth, who on Sunday slammed transport minister Fikile Mbalula for double standards.

“If it is so necessary for government to prohibit South Africans from accessing beaches, and enforcing strict curfew times, they should at the very least, meet citizens halfway and provide them with relief through other measures,” Brauteseth said in a statement.

Brauteseth was responding to news on Saturday that the government will not extend the grace period for drivers to renew car licence discs.

The grace period — until August 31 — will only apply to learner’s licences, driving licence cards, temporary driving licence cards and professional driving permits that expired between March 26 and December 31 last year.

Brauteseth said excluding vehicle licence discs from the list effectively put people at risk of Covid-19 infection when queuing up at traffic offices.

“By so doing, Mbalula has recklessly disregarded the call by President Ramaphosa to South Africans to avoid any sort of unnecessary gathering, such as ridiculously long queues at licensing offices and post offices across SA in order to comply with a completely inane and unnecessary regulatory oversight from the transport department,” Brauteseth said.

“The current second wave of the pandemic has clearly presented a new set of circumstances that urgently requires new strategies, and not the ‘razzmatazz head-in-the-Moet’ approach we have seen until now.”

“The DA calls on Minister Mbalula to avoid a Covid-19 tragedy and urgently extend the grace period for vehicle licence renewals to August 31 2021. We also urge the minister to move into the 21st century and immediately set in motion a process to get vehicle registrations across SA onto online platforms once and for all,” Brauteseth said.

by Bobby Jordan