Transport Department eyes smarter solution to printing drivers' licenses

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says the department has shipped South Africa's outdated driver license printer to Germany for repairs.

FILE: Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula launched the COVID-19 taxi relief fund on Tuesday, 11 January 2022. Picture: Department of Transport.

JOHANNESBURG - The Transport Department has shipped South Africa's driver license printer to Germany for repairs.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula held a press briefing on Wednesday to update the media on what was being done.

"The machine is being fixed as we speak, we have already shipped it to Germany. It's being fixed but in the interim we will introduce new measures of what will actually happen but over and above that I'm introducing a new card that doesn't need to go to Germany to be fixed."

Mbalula said the machine should have been changed a long time ago but hurried to explain that he was not trying to say previous ministers were sleeping on the job.

"Why did we take so much time and all of that? Look when it happened. I was not here, I can only answer for when I'm here right, we should have long changed this but nonetheless we are changing it in the sixth administration, and I'm not gonna say the previous ministers where sleeping on the job they were not."

IN WITH THE NEW
Mbalula mentioned doing away with the old machine altogether.

"I'm doing away with the old machine and the only thing I will add is that whilst dealing away with that machine it got an accident and the is COVID-19 the machine must be taken to be repaired in Germany."

Mbalula needs Cabinet's approval before he can go ahead and make the changes.

"When Cabinet sits this year I will be on the door of Cabinet presenting the new machine, I'm done with the security features with the State Security Agency. Once Cabinet approves that, new machines are going to come."

OUT WITH THE OLD

The card machine South Africa has been using is old and outdated, which is why it had to be sent to Germany for repairs.