Zim launches SADC compliant driver’s licence
Harare (New Ziana)-Zimbabwe on Monday unveiled the new plastic driver’s licences which is compliant with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) standards.
The plastic drivers’ licence has 32 security features which will enable Zimbabwean holders to drive in 25 other countries in SADC, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the East African Community including South Africa, Mozambique, Lesotho, Libya, Eritrea, Egypt, Ethiopia and Somalia.
Speaking at the launch, Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Felix Mhona said the new drivers licence goes a long way in fostering efficiency and eliminating corruption in the issuance of drivers’ licences.
“The new SADC Compliant Drivers’ licence system will also enhance the Government’s capacity to develop an electronic database of licensed Drivers which will be linked with all relevant stakeholders,” he said.
Zimbabwean drivers are well sought after within the SADC region and beyond. “Therefore, the new Drivers’ Licence complies with the standard specifications of the Tripartite Transport and Transit Facilitation Programme (TTTFP) whose objective is to, amongst other things, harmonize and standardize driver training, testing and certification within the entire Tripartite Region, which include the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community (EAC).
“Such regional initiatives and standards will facilitate conformance with international best practices to allow the use of domestic drivers’ licences for international travel. A Licence issued in Zimbabwe, will be valid for driving across the 25 Tripartite countries, and beyond, without any need for conversion,” he said.
“The new Drivers’ licence has 13 categories which will, amongst others, make provision for the combination categories of a vehicle and trailer. The new categories shall accommodate the different sizes of vehicles and prevent the current scenario where drivers are tested on a small vehicle and then be authorised to drive a very large vehicle which the driver may not be able to operate effectively,” he said.
In an interview after the launch, Zimbabwe Union of Drivers and Conductors (ZUDAC) president Fradreck Maguramhinga told New Ziana that the new licence would alleviate problems that were faced by truck drivers.
“Drivers who are plying cross border routes needed to acquire an international licence to drive in other countries but now there is no need for a driver to buy that licence. They can now drive through SADC, COMESA and EAC. For the renewal of drivers’ licences for public service vehicles, they used to go through the re-testing process, it was cumbersome,” he said.
Mhona also used the same opportunity to launch the multi-lingual electronic learner licence testing and digital route permit system for public buses.
One of the advantages of the new plastic licences is that they will be printed instantly, have security features that will make them difficult to forge, as well as being machine readable so checks can immediately confirm the authenticity and reveal any legal issues.