Gauteng's new number plates delayed till 2009

The introduction of new secure number plates for Gauteng has been delayed until early 2009, the provincial transport department said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Alfred Nhlapo said the number plates were supposed to be introduced in January this year, but this had to be delayed because of the enormity of the task.

“It’s never been done before and the amount of work involved is quite humungous,” he said.

Nhlapo said the department wants to increase security for drivers by ensuring there is an “audit trail” for every number plate made.

This means every number plate will be created in a way that will allow it to be traced from manufacture to distribution and not illegally duplicated.

“The new intelligent number-plate system is meant to reduce vehicle crime and related activities,” he said.

Nhlapo said there is no infrastructure in place to support this kind of system at the moment, which is why it is taking longer than expected to get it up and running.

He said the department is in consultation with government bodies and agencies, including the South African Bureau of Standards and number-plate manufacturers and distributors, to ensure all regulations are adhered to in designing the number plates and the equipment to make them.

He expects the new number plates to be introduced by the first quarter of 2009.—Sapa

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