Explainer: Gauteng getting new ‘crime fighting’ number plates, but not just yet

New number plates will eventually be introduced to Gauteng. File picture not reflective of new plate system. Image: BMW.

New number plates will eventually be introduced to Gauteng. File picture not reflective of new plate system. Image: BMW.

Published Apr 5, 2024


The Gauteng province will be getting new high-tech licence plates, but motorists don’t have to worry about splurging their hard earned cash on them just yet.

Early in February, Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi implied that the new number plates would be rolled out from April 1, 2024.

But in his State-of-the-Province Address on February 19, the Premier backtracked on that initial communication, stating that the project would only be piloted on government vehicles from April.

The public roll-out, he confirmed, would take place at a later and as yet unspecified date once the Minister of Transport had finalised the bill.

Gauteng transport spokesperson Lesiba Mpya Lesiba told News24 that the public rollout could take some time and that there would be “robust public participation processes” before it is signed into law.

Once it is on stream, the provincial government says it will force motorists to obtain the new number plates when they renew their vehicle licence discs.

“We are starting afresh, all of us. Every person that has a car must re-register and get a new registration number that can’t be copied, can’t be removed, and is reliable,” Lesufi announced on February 13.

When the new number plates are eventually rolled out they could play an important crime-fighting role, assuming that police utilise the technology to its full effect.

The new plates are said to be tamper-proof and feature a “track and trace” system, with a QR code linked to the owner of the vehicle. The initiative will also see the government partnering with Vumacam.

“Stolen and hijacked cars are central to crimes that are committed in our province,” Lesufi said.

“The majority of these vehicles use fake and duplicate number plates.”

It could go national too

Lesufi said the National Department of Transport had developed a draft legislative proposal for the harmonisation of national number plates, which includes the security features proposed for the new Gauteng plates.

But crime fighting potential isn’t the only reason Gauteng is renewing its plates. The current number plate system is apparently running out of number and letter combinations..

IOL Motoring

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