The Department of Transport has announced that South Africans are set to get new number plates in 2017. This plan was first announced on 28 January 2015 through a notice sent to all South Africans, outlining the department's intentions. The draft regulation amendments have been open to public debate since then, with both positive and negative comments arising. We look into the idea around the proposed new number plates, what they will look like, and how it will affect drivers in South Africa.
What will the new number plates look like?
The new number plates are set to be embossed in aluminium plate, with their backgrounds printed with a reflective surface. Under the new law each number plate must contain:
Letters and figures must be displayed in the following colours:
New number plates must display:
Along with the essentials of maintaining your vehicle such as renewing your licence disc and driver’s licence, and ensuring you have Car Insurance, drivers will have to renew their number plates every five years. Aside from this though, there seem to be no other rules and regulations tied to the new number plates as of yet. Only time will tell if any more regulations will be set out for drivers to follow. It is still unclear when the new number plates will be rolled out in 2017, as the proposed amendment is still under review and open to suggestions before final approval.
While the new system is very much up in the air, there are some positives and negatives to its introduction. We outline the main arguments for and against the new number plates below.
While the plan for new number plates is still in the pipeline and open to public opinion, it seems South Africans are not too confident in it. In a poll sent out by Wheels24, 87% of respondents believed the new plates are a money-making scheme, 3% believed the new plates look good, and 10% were indifferent. With one in five vehicle number plates cloned in Gauteng, it would be valuable to know whether the new plates would help in the prevention of this crime, and other forms of vehicle crimes. It seems very little is known about the new plates, but it is hoped more clarity will be given in the near future. South Africans will have to be reassured of the value of the new plates in order to buy into the project.