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New SA Driving Licence: No more queues, electronic and mobile cards

May 6th 2021 at 08:56

South Africans will soon be able to apply for a new electronic or mobile driving licence card as well as a physical plastic one Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula revealed this week.

The days of standing in long queues will also eventually come to an end with the introduction of an e-service system by the Department of Transport (DOT)

Mbalula’s plans for the introduction of the new cards was revealed in the Drivers Licence Card Account Annual Performance Plan (DLCA) 2020/21. The DLCA is a division that falls under the Department of Transport (DOT).

“It is envisaged that a new durable driving licence card with improved security features will be introduced by the end of the financial year,” the plan noted.

“The emergence of the fourth industrial revolution presents both challenges and opportunity for DLCA. There are opportunities for the DLCA to adopt newer technologies to support the DLCA service delivery initiatives,” the plan said.

“The advent of self-driving cars and other alternative transport initiatives such as on-demand ride service may impact on the demand of driving licence cards. There is definitely a need for DLCA to adopt new techniques and business models that will fundamentally transform the production process, government decisions, industry and society at large.”

According to the 2020/21 plan the modernisation of the driving licence card production system will have the following benefits, enabling the DLCA to:

  • Reduce the driving licence card production turnaround time from 12 days to just 7 days
  • Introduce an electronic/mobile driving license
  • Create a platform to introduce an e-service
  • Re-engineer the DLCA process to allow for the automation of support services and the elimination of the current manual application process.

Earlier plans in 2016/17 that were initiated to start with the introduction of the new card system were delayed when there was a change in the transport ministry.

No sick leave: Man tells court of harrowing factory ‘job’

April 28th 2021 at 14:31

In 2018, Maxwell Kamanga left his home town of Dedza, in rural Malawi, and boarded a bus bound for Johannesburg.

For the ambitious 24 year old, the lure of a better life was too enticing to resist.

But his dreams soon turned to dread when he was recruited into what is now believed to have been an illegal sweatshop and became a pawn in an alleged human trafficking ring.

This was Kamanga’s evidence on the stand of the High Court in Johannesburg this week when the trial of the seven Chinese nationals accused of running the operation got underway.

ALSO READ: Bail hearing of Chinese nationals, who allegedly trafficked 91 Malawians into SA, adjourned

“That dream you had when you brought a bus ticket to South Africa, what has happened to it?” state advocate Valencia Dube asked Kamanga on Wednesday.

“It’s disappeared,” he said. The accused – Kevin Tsao ShuUei, Chen Hui, Qin Li, Jiaqing Zhou, Ma Biao, Dai Junying and Zhang Zhilian – were arrested in 2019 after the Hawks swooped on them at a factory trading under the name Beautiful City Pty Ltd in Johannesburg’s Village Deep.

According to the indictment, the accused had a total of 91 undocumented Malawian foreign nationals – among them children– working in the factory, where they stand accused of having contravened a raft of labour laws.

They are facing a staggering 160 counts of, among others, human trafficking, debt bondage, benefitting from the services of a victim of trafficking, conduct that facilitates trafficking, kidnapping, pointing a firearm, knowingly employing illegal foreigners, illegally assisting people to remain in SA and failing to comply with the duties of an employer.

Their trial started on Monday, with the accused all pleading not guilty and Kamanga, 26, taking the stand as the state’s first witness.

He continued his evidence on Wednesday, when he told the court his plan had originally been to find work here so he could save up enough money to further his education.

But after a friend convinced Kamanga to take up a job with him at Beautiful City, he said, he became trapped in a cycle of exploitation.

He detailed the harrowing 11 months he spent at Beautiful City before it was raided – saying he and his co-workers lived and worked on the company premises and were not allowed to leave, with armed guards stationed at the entrance. The only shop they were allowed to visit was run by one of the accused from the company premises.

And, Kamanga said, this was where he ended up spending almost all of the paltry R440 he got paid each week. They weren’t allowed cellphones or radios, he said, and they had to work Monday through Sunday – even when they were sick.

He recalled how one of his co-workers had lost the tips of his two fingers after his hand became caught in one of the machines they were operating. Eventually, he said, his friend’s only option was to “escape” as a stowaway on a delivery truck.

Under cross-examination from defence attorney Jannie Kruger, Kamanga on Wednesday faced a barrage of questions around why he had not tried to escape. He said he had considered it but that he didn’t have anywhere to go.

bernadettew@citizen.co.za

Magistrate, examiners arrested in fake driving licence swoop

April 23rd 2021 at 13:37

 

Five people have been arrested in Mpumalanga for the alleged fraudulent issuing of a driving licence.

One of the people who were arrested was a data capturer, another was a medical doctor and the rest were driving licence examiners.

The arrests were made during an operation between the police and the National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) in Mpumalanga.

ALSO READ: Big reward for info on burglary at Zondo commission

This comes after a KwaZulu-Natal magistrate was found to have obtained his driving licence in an “irregular manner”. The licence was allegedly issued fraudulently, RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane said.

The accused magistrate, Bonginkosi Mtshali, was arrested on 15 April 2021. The 56-year-old accused is based at the Empangeni Magistrate’s Court. He has since appeared in court and has been released on R2 000 bail.

Mtshali’s case has been transferred to Mpumalanga, where he will join the other five accused on charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and defeating the ends of justice, Zwane said.

Nicole McCain

READ MORE: UK authorities arrest businessman linked to R745m Kusile corruption case

South African traffic cops to get body cameras

March 29th 2021 at 11:18
By: SANews
South African traffic officers will be issued with body cameras to help gather evidence and improve the conviction rate for traffic law violators.

Sanral ‘unable’ to comment on dodgy e-tolls payments by ETC

March 25th 2021 at 11:47
Sanral has baulked at commenting on allegations that ETC, which manages the collection of e-tolls, agreed to pay R40-million to an allegedly dodgy subcontractor two weeks before ETC won the Gauteng e-tolls contract.
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