Government last week gazetted new fee proposals which will cost motorists an additional R250 for an online booking alone – this is besides the actual cost of renewing your licence.
This unexpected move by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has been met with surprise and contempt.
The Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) said the the proposal is ‘beyond outrageous’ and called it a show of deep contempt for the citizens of South Africa.
According to AA, this can be seen in the context of the poor to non-existent service delivery rendered by the RTMC currently who seek to extract as much revenue from already cash-strapped citizens without providing any associated benefit to them.
Fee 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
- An additional transaction fees of R72 for every transaction performed at the RTMC
- R99 for the delivery of driving licence cards.
These proposed fees must be seen in the context of the RTMC’s stated surplus for 2019/2020 of close on R262 million which already indicates motorists are being substantially over-charged for services rendered by the Corporation.
Further, 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.
“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,” said the AA in a statement.
They called the content of the Gazette an insult to South Africans.
“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,” said the AA.
They have a plan to create a formal submission to the Department of Transport highlighting its concerns. This will kick off with an online petition against the proposed fees which will collect signatures to support its submission which must be made before Monday, 4 October.