The Western Cape is losing millions of rand a year intended for road maintenance because the high cost of licensing has made companies and individuals decide to register their vehicles in other provinces.

The Western Cape is losing millions of rand a year intended for road maintenance because the high cost of licensing has meant that companies and individuals are now choosing to register their vehicles in other provinces.

The fees for motoring licences are up to two thirds higher in the Western Cape than in other provinces. The licence fee for a small car is R252, while in the Northern Cape this would cost only R123 and R117 in the Eastern Cape.

To licence a medium-sized saloon there would cost R303, compared with R136 in the Eastern Cape. Licensing a heavy truck will set you back R8 778 (R4 377 in the Eastern Cape), and further increases are expected in April.

According to the , companies that have opted to register their large fleets in other provinces have managed to half their licence bills. This means that while the province loses millions of rand in revenue, individual vehicle and small business owners are forced to subsidise the bigger operators.

The director of the Cape Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Albert Schuitmaker, said that the high licence fees have become counterproductive as companies who based their fleets in other provinces also bought, financed and insured their cars there, effectively moving jobs out of the Western Cape.

However, Western Cape Transport MEC Tasneem Essop said revenue was not being lost as the province had exceeded its budgetary target and licence fees would increase in April by a further five per cent.

The reason given for the increase is that it will enable the province to meet its R2,1 billion road maintenance and upgrading objectives as well as improving public transport.