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Litigation: Case to scrap driving licence renewals launched

AfriForum has launched a legal bid to have the five-year renewal of drivers’ licences scrapped. News24 reports that the civil rights organisation filed papers in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria). AfriForum campaign officer Reiner Duvenage said the legal bid comes on the back of several concerns about operations at the Department of Transport. These include a formal complaint submitted by AfriForum to the Public Protector in September, detailing allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the department. ‘Of particular concern is the renewal of drivers’ licences, which is becoming impossible due to systemic failure’, he said. AfriForum’s legal team ‘formulated an astounding legal opinion that there is not sufficient legislation mandating the requirement of licences to be renewed every five years’, said Duvenage. The application seeks a declaratory order that motorists cannot by law be penalized or fined for not being in possession of a renewed driving licence card, as no such penalty exists. AfriForum argues that substantial legal and practical grounds exist for its application to succeed. According to its lawyer, Daniel Eloff, the National Road Traffic Act does not clearly distinguish between a ‘driving licence’ and a ‘driving licence card’. It also does not explicitly state that motorists must apply for new licence cards on expiry.

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