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MBABANE - If the basis of your employment is a driving licence, then you should brace yourself for tough times, as government is in a bid to apply stiff measures concerning their acquisition.

Moreover, the driver’s licence document will have an expiry date and will require re-testing if the individual has a desire to renew it. These new developments, according to Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Public Works, Thulani Mkhaliphi, if they are eventually endorsed through legislation by government, would require all licence holders to go back to the testing room to receive a  new one.


PS Mkhaliphi pointed out to Eswatini News that it is not only for the driving licence acquisitions, but it will also be a tool that will be used and relied upon when it comes to the behaviour of drivers on the country’s roads. It is said that every time you would commit an offence while behind the steering wheel of a moving car, you will lose points on your driver’s licence in the process.

The PS further disclosed that the Eswatini Road Safety Council had already submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Public Works over the adaptation of systems which is already in use in the rest of the world. “I cannot confirm much on this development as you know that I am an outgoing minister, but then the incoming incumbent will be the one who will be handling the said matter,” the minister said.

When  engaged  the PS, Thulani Mkhaliphi, who also confirmed that indeed there were developments of this nature and at the same time, he brought more clarity on what really, government has set out to accomplish by the exercise.
“Government has already issued requests for proposals for service providers to mordenise and align our systems with those that are being in the rest of the world and beside it is not on this only aspect of drivers licence but the scope is of wide nature as the entire system need to be fixed or to say mordenised,” PS Mkhaliphi clarified.


About the mordenising of the systems, the PS said under these yet to be adopted and applied schemes, a driver licensing authority, police force, or other organisation keeps a record of the demerit points accumulated by drivers. The PS went on to state that when the prescribed point threshold is reached, the person’s license would usually be automatically revoked or suspended. He said that points may either be added or subtracted, depending on the rules of each scheme.

A major offence may lead to more than the maximum allowed points being issued. This was also confirmed by Minister of Public Works, Chief Ndlaluhlaza Ndwandwe, who said it was true that a proposal was forwarded by the council, however, he pointed out that there has to be amendments of the Road Traffic Act, which has to go through Parliament.

Meanwhile, points are typically applied after a driving offense has been committed, and the license is revoked for a defined time, or after other conditions are met. If the total exceeds the threshold, the offender may be disqualified from driving, or the driving license may be revoked. After the license suspension period has expired, the previous demerit points are cancelled.

“The primary purpose of such point systems is to identify, determine, and penalise repeat traffic offenders, while streamlining the legal process. It will no longer be easy to get a licence for an individual. Tough tests will be required and even in the event the driver’s licence has expired, one has to undergo the tough tests and has to pass to be granted another licence,” PS Mkhaliphi said.

Moreover, the PS pointed out that it was high time for Eswatini to have these systems that safeguard and the same time monitor, examine the behaviour of drivers in the country’s roads and with these methods, the high rate of accidents would be reduced. “This mordenised system will also be able to examine regular and capture the entire information in the system about the behaviour of the said driver.


“These drivers licences need to be recognised by the world and that is why government has decided to upgrade and mordenise them so that you can be able to be recognised as a driver even in European countries. Right now if you can issue your driver’s licence in the United States of America (USA), the document will not be recognised,” PS Mkhaliphi explained.

It is worth mentioning that in countries like the Philippines, driver’s licences are valid for 10 or more years as Pinoy drivers, they are already aware that our current five-year driver’s licence could be extended up to 10 years validity if they continue to follow the traffic laws of the land like a saint. When renewal time comes and if they have no traffic violations under their name, they could be granted you the privilege of a 10-year driver’s license.

In the meantime, drivers who were randomly picked for an interview, however preferred that their names not be disclosed said that these new mordenisation was being piloted to take away their meal tickets. "This is not good news to us, as losing your licence means the employer has to look for another person to replace you,” said one kombi driver.

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