This week motorists welcomed the introduction of online licencing services, but OUTA – the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse – on Saturday warned the services are costing an arm and a leg.
OUTA believes that the Road Traffic Management Corporation’s (RTMC) introduction of an online vehicle and driver’s licencing system is a welcome move into the digital age, however, we cannot accept the massive increases in the cost slapped onto these services.
“Moving into the digital age and providing services through online portals is supposed to reduce the costs to customers, not increase them,” says Andrea van Heerden, OUTA Senior Legal Project Manager.
“It’s all very well to say that you can now have your vehicle change of ownership done from the comfort of your home, but the cost of doing so has moved from around R150 to R530, plus another R99 courier fee, which is nothing but a rip-off and an unacceptable money-making scheme.”
Van Heerden asked why Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula was “allowing the RTMC to introduce massive service fees which are essentially new ‘additional taxes’ to society, and passing these off as ‘convenience fees’.”
OUTA had objected to these new “administration” fees proposed by the Department of Transport in the notices gazetted last year.
“However, in the final version issued in January, the department simply reduced the fees slightly and forced these costs into the system, without any explanation as to why these additional fees should be applied in the first place,” said Van Heerden.
“An online fee should not be higher than the fee charged at the offices; rather, the online fees should be substantially lower.”
“Moving into the digital age should not be disguised as making it easier for society to transact with the state and then slapping the public with service fee increases to the tune of 250% and more for this benefit.
“This is nothing short of a gross abuse of power and must not be allowed to happen.”