Gauteng’s transport MEC has warned motorists in his province that they will be fined if they do not have the credit card-style licence. A receipt to prove they have applied for the document will not be accepted.

Gauteng’s transport MEC has warned motorists in his province that they will be fined if they do not have the credit card-style licence. A receipt to prove they have applied for the document will not be accepted.

Khabisi Mosunkutu was speaking at the official launch of a new licensing system aimed at combating fraud and corruption and improving efficiency. It is a joint venture between the department, Business Against Crime and the various licensing departments.

According to , Mosunkutu said if motorists had applied, but not received their new licences by the deadline of February 28, they would be held responsible. "It’s best to not be on the road if you don't have it. If you are out there with a receipt, that is not going to work. There have been postponements for five years. This is it," he said.

"Conscientious drivers should long ago have taken out their licences. We kept on postponing (the deadline) to accommodate them. There will be no more extensions. If on March 1 you don't have it, we will deal with you," he said.

"Our law enforcement people will have one instruction, and will not allow deviation. If the new licence is not there, or is still being processed, that is your problem," said Mosunkuthu. The conversion process began in June 1998. Many licensing departments have extended their office hours to accommodate a rush of late applications. After applying, it could take up to six weeks to receive the new licence.

Mosunkutu also introduced the concept known as “the best practice model” for vehicle licensing offices in Gauteng. He said it would shorten queues, speed up processing times and help prevent fraud and corruption.

The new model splits up the licensing process to prevent fraud. There are now five steps: enquiries, receiving, verification, implementation and cashiers. This is meant to stop corruption as documents are processed by five people.

Suspect documents are checked during the verification process. Mosunkutu said the department's efforts had resulted in improved interception of suspected fraudulent documentation, and an increase in the number of arrests.

In Gauteng, it now took 30 minutes to register a vehicle and less than 10 minutes to renew a licence, provided the necessary resources were available, he said. In a bid to address long queues, 16 new points for licence renewals had been created around the province, and seven others would be up and running shortly.

The model will now also be introduced in other provinces.