Legal Dispute Over South Africa’s 5-Year Driver’s Licence Cards

Legal Dispute Over South Africa’s 5-Year Driver’s Licence Cards

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria recently heard ⁤a legal application by Afriforum, a civil rights organization, regarding the validity periods of South Africa’s driver’s license cards. Afriforum​ believes that these validity​ periods are unlawful and irrational. The organization argues that the regulations contradict the National Road Traffic Act (NRTA), ⁤which states that driver’s licenses cannot expire.

Afriforum’s legal representative, Daniël Eloff from the law firm Hurter‌ Spies, has presented arguments stating that the validity periods are inconsistent with the NRTA and are not related⁣ to the Transport Minister’s power to regulate vehicle operation on‍ public roads. Afriforum also wants fines and penalties related to driver’s license cards to only ⁢apply to those who drive without a ‍card ⁣or⁤ whose licenses have been suspended ‍or canceled.

The ‍Organisation Undoing​ Tax Abuse (Outa) has a ⁣different interpretation of the law, stating that the intention was to create a process for renewing the driving license card every five years. Outa supports extending the validity period to 10 years,‌ while Afriforum believes that even this limitation should not be allowed under the current⁢ laws.

Former Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has publicly stated that‍ the new license‍ cards, expected to be fully introduced by March 2024, will be valid for eight years. ‍However, no official legislation has been published to confirm this. The current Transport Minister, Sindisiwe Chikunga, has recently stated that⁣ her ‌department⁣ is proposing an eight-year validity period for⁣ Cabinet approval.

Comparing South Africa’s card⁣ validity period with 30 other countries, it⁣ was found that most countries had longer validity periods, ‌ranging⁣ from 10 to 15 years. However, it‌ is important to‍ note that driver’s license ‌validity periods⁣ may not directly impact road safety,‌ as other factors‍ such as speed limits and⁣ proper law enforcement also play a significant role.

In conclusion, Afriforum’s legal challenge against the validity periods of South Africa’s‌ driver’s license cards is ongoing. The court will ultimately determine whether these validity periods are lawful or not.

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