Despite the promise that changing to the credit-card style licence would prevent fake documents, acting transport minister Jeff Radebe said on Monday that more than half the drivers' licences since 1998 were issued in an “irregular manner”.

Despite the promises that changing to the credit-card style licence would prevent fake documents, acting transport minister Jeff Radebe said on Monday that more than half the drivers' licences since 1998 were issued in an “irregular manner”. The conversion to the new licence began in 1998.

The reported that Radebe was replying to a question in Parliament from DA MP James Selfe about the licensing system. He said the figure was based on an informal study conducted with the South African Police Services from 1998.

"In cases where cards are issued in an irregular manner, licences are sold to applicants, eye tests are not done, applicants are not tested as prescribed, or not tested at all, and licences are being authorised by non-authorised examiners," he said.

The newspaper said that the Scorpions special investigating unit inspected more than 84 000 driving licence files from nine testing centres in Limpopo in the past three years and found that 10 000 licences had been issued irregularly.

In Gauteng it was estimated more than 5 000 fraudulent foreign licences had been converted to the new format. In the Free State about 3 000 were faulty, 1 000 in KwaZulu-Natal, between 3 000 and 4 000 in Mpumalanga and about 3 000 in the Western Cape. In the Eastern Cape the number was 3 000 and there were about 10 000 fake Transkei and Ciskei licences.

Radebe said these licences would be cancelled. He said there very few cases of forged licences as they were not easy to forge.

Selfe said the officials involved in issuing these licences should be charged. "This is an indictment of the process that has been followed. It also makes a mockery of the time and effort of thousands of honest motorists who have had to stand in queues for several hours to obtain their credit card format licences," Selfe told . "Where fraudulent licences are discovered, these must be invalidated and the holders prosecuted.” He said the five-year renewal period should be used to double check all licences.

Original article from Car