Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula blamed the heavy backlog in the issuing of new driver’s licenses on a broken machine, which is currently in Germany for repairs. It is the only such machine in the country.


According to eNCA, Mbalula confirmed that the driver’s license printer is in Germany, on Tuesday, 11 January.

However, he added that those waiting for their road pass would be presented with interim solutions soon.

“The license machine is in Germany, it has broken,” said Mbalula.

“I am going to be announcing temporary measures with regards to temporary license but I am moving ahead with the new driver’s license cards which I will announce in public.”


Automotive Association of South Africa (AA) spokesperson Layton Beard told Newzroom Afrika that the reason that South Africa only has one driver’s license printer is most likely to limit corruption.

The single machine means that fraudulent licenses are less likely to make their way into the public through the Department of Transport and Driver’s License Testing Stations (DLTC).

“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 Beard.

The current backlog is believed to be over 383 000 driver’s licenses after the machine broke down in November. All the more reason, said Beard, for the country to have at least one backup machine.

The repair was expected to be completed at the end of December 2021 but Mbalula said the machine should be back in the country by March.


According to Moneyweb, Mbalula said the driver’s license printing machine is so old that no other country in the world is still using it.

He said the government is considering producing new license cards with a new machine that is “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.


By Dirk

One thought on “SA’s only driver’s license printer is in Germany for repairs – here’s why we only have one”
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