licence disk

Image via: @CityofJoburgZA on Twitter

City of Joburg: ‘Newspaper and airtime slips don’t count as licence discs’

The City of Johannesburg took to Twitter to highlight South Africans’ creative yet illegal ‘solution’ to expired licence discs.

licence disk

Image via: @CityofJoburgZA on Twitter

The City of Johannesburg took to Twitter on Tuesday to reiterate and remind South Africans that newspaper clippings and airtime slips cannot pass as a licence disc. 

Believe it or not – the trend of unlicensed drivers using random newspaper clippings or airtime slips as licence discs in the windscreen of their vehicle has been a creative “solution” since 2018.

Creative’ licence discs nothing new  

In May 2018, road safety information portal Arrive Alive posted images of a Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) traffic officer writing down a ticket for a taxi with random newspaper clippings and airtime slips on its windscreen. 

They wrote a caption next to the picture that said: “Welcome to South Africa where a taxi driver used a newspaper as a licence disc.”

East Coast Radio said: “Arrive Alive posted a picture of a traffic officer issuing a fine to a taxi driver for using a newspaper clipping as a licence disc, and, as you would imagine, South Africa has been in hysterics ever since”.

“I just want to know how long this has been going on for and how many other taxis have adopted this new form of identification?!” asked a Twitter user. 

“It’s worrying that so many people rely on public transport and no-one actually stops to check for the licence before hopping in. It’s like an unspoken trust and it is being disrespected.”

JMPD Chief David Tembe said: “This is what our @JMPDSafety officers come across during operations – newspaper pages and airtime slips displayed on the windscreen as licence disc”. 

In an effort not to kill the ‘Dezemba’ buzz, the City of Joburg added: “If your licence expires and you haven’t renewed it, you’ll be given a 21-day grace period from the day your disc expires, got it? Good.

“This is not what we mean when we say recycle and reuse,” it added. 

Twitter reactions to SA’s ‘creativity’

“Hayibo!! People actually do this?

“On a side note, today is the first day in two weeks I’ve seen police directing traffic at an intersection (now that everyone’s on holiday). During the rains and load shedding, all I saw were homeless people directing traffic. What gives?” a Twitter user said.