‘Here are your cards’: SA’s only license printing machine is back in action [watch]

Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula announced that South Africa’s License Card Machine has been repaired and is back in the country, on Wednesday, 26 January.


Mbalula said he paid a visit to the Driving License Card Account (DLCA) – the sole producer of driving permits in the country – on Tuesday.

“See, South Africa, the machine is working. It has been repaired and we are working on the new system – in terms of the machine,” said Transport Minister in a video.

Good morning SA, yesterday I visited the Staff at the DLCA and spent the afternoon with them.

The Licensing Card Machine has been fixed and is in operation. The Staff is pulling Day and Night shift to ensure your License are made and delivered. pic.twitter.com/zUaqyvJLlI

— FIKILE MBALULA | MR FIX (@MbalulaFikile) January 26, 2022

“The machine that produces your driver’s license is not a small printer – as it has been portrayed,” added Mbalula.

He said the DLCA staff are “working very hard” – pulling day and night shifts – in order to ensure driver’s licenses are manufactured and delivered.

The driver’s license backlog is believed to be over 383 000.

As previously reported, the machine which is believed to have malfunctioned in November 2021, was sent to Germany for repairs.

The machine is so old that South Africa is the only country in the world that still uses it.

The Automobile Association (AA) said limiting corruption was the most likely the reason why South Africa only has one such license printer.

“I think you don’t want to have a situation where the printing of licence cards is farmed out to the DLTCs. You may find yourself in a worse position in terms of illegal driving licence cards that are in circulation,” said AA CEO Layton Beard.

Mbalula said plans were in motion to produce new licenses cards that are “on par with the developed world.”

“We should have long changed this but nonetheless we are changing it in the sixth administration,” said the Minister of Transport.

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