The IFP, as the Official Opposition in the KZN Legislature, believes that the KZN Provincial Government has misled the people of KwaZulu-Natal about the new number plate system. To our knowledge, there is no scientific evidence to support that number plates under the new system cannot be cloned due to their new safety features.
We challenge the KZN MEC for Transport, Sipho Hlomuka, to tell the public how crime will be reduced by changing the number plate system. Further, we are concerned with how the KZN Department of Transport handled the consultation process related to the switch to new number plates.
They are claiming that the rapid growth of the province’s population and the accompanying rise in the number of vehicles has forced KwaZulu-Natal to start migrating to the new “ZN” number plate system, which will kick off from as early as 1 December 2023. In areas such as NRB, NPN and NPS, there are apparently no more numbers available for use.
The Department has stated that it will issue a Gazette for public comment. However, this is merely to rubber stamp the process. It is apparent that the Department has already taken a decision to implement this new number plate system, without considering people’s concerns or the financial implication this change might have for car owners.
By implementing the new number plate system, the government is holding people to ransom, as they have not been properly consulted. This is akin to holding public hearings but at the end of the process, submissions, concerns, and objections from impacted community members are not considered.
The IFP calls upon MEC Hlomuka to relook this ill-advised decision. He needs to come up with alternatives, including possible incentivisation or reimbursement for car owners who are forced to buy new number plates. Further, he must inform the public of the prevention strategies to prevent these new number plates from being cloned.
Mr Blessed Gwala MPL
IFP Chief Whip in the KZN Legislature
078 290 5842