The Automobile Association has decided not to take legal action to stop the Department of Transport from nullifying the licences of motorists who have not changed to the new documents.

The Automobile Association has decided not to take legal action to stop the Department of Transport from nullifying the licences of motorists who have not changed to the new documents.

The AA said it wanted to obtain a declaratory order on the legislation surrounding the new licence, but decided against proceeding. "This decision was based on further legal opinion obtained from senior council which indicated that there may be a basis in law which could result in the declaratory order not being granted. Additionally, the figures initially issued by the National Department of Transport indicated that more than 25 per cent of licensed drivers in South Africa have not yet converted to the new CCF licence," said Petro Kruger, AA Divisional Manager: Corporate Affairs.

"According to the revised figures issued by the department, it seems that only approximately 400 000 drivers, in essence seven per cent, have not yet converted their licences. This includes people who have been working overseas for a number of years, drivers who have passed away since 1998 but whose details are still on the system and a large number of people who are simply unable to afford the cost of the conversion."

Kruger also said that it would be unfair to use AA members' subscription fees to fund a costly appeal, which would benefit a limited number of drivers. "We will continue to liaise with representatives of the NDoT to discuss various issues around the conversion process. Drivers who have not yet converted their licences should be aware that this will affect their insurance coverage, their vehicle financing and possibly their employment and we encourage those drivers who have yet to convert to do so as a matter of urgency." Kruger said.

Meanwhile, reported that at least 200 000 motorists who have not converted to the new licence may be dead. The transport department asked Home Affairs for death records two weeks ago as it could not trace these details itself.

The AA told the newspaper it could not believe that this had not been taken into account before. "We suspected as much. But we couldn't believe they hadn't verified the figures from time to time. Surely they must have the infrastructure to do so," said AA spokesperson Gary Ronald. "This is in line with what we've heard at grassroots level, and explains the absence of queues at licencing offices."