Durban, KZN, South Africa - Cityscape
Durban, KZN, South Africa - Cityscape Magda Ehlers/

The Transport Department said on Monday that it is making progress on providing a new driver's license card and printing equipment for the country, despite dealing with the initial challenges of finding the right service provider.

The government approved the department's plan to create a new driver's license card on Aug. 30, 2022. Following the approval, the department began its first attempt to find a service provider to offer a complete solution.

"With the evaluation and adjudication of the bids completed, the department is almost on the brink of pronouncing a new dawn in the driving license card environment, with the audit process being the only last hurdle standing in the way," the department said, SA News reported.

It added, "The above bid was advertised on 10 November 2022. This bid process was unsuccessful, resulting in a re-advertisement of the bid on 5 April 2023. Bid DLCA/2023/01: Provision of a Turnkey Solution for Personalization of Smart Driving Cards in South Africa was advertised in the government tender portal."

The bidding process for the new driver's license card closed on May 5, last year. Due to its technical complexity, the bid is still being considered and the department must follow specific supply chain management (SCM) rules.

The department received bids from five companies including Ren-form Corporate Print Media, Nec Xon Systems (Pty) Ltd, Muehlbauer ID Services, Gemalto Altron Fintech Southern Africa and Idemia Identity and Security — South Africa.

The evaluation and adjudication of the bids are finished but the department is now carrying out standard audit checks. The bid process cannot be finalized until these checks are completed.

"The department pleads for patience as it is prohibited by law not to poke its nose into the affairs of the bidding committees. In compliance with the rules and regulations on tender processes, the department can therefore not be characterized as lacking transparency. The department will pronounce on this matter when all processes have been completed," the department added.

While the government is all set to provide a new driver's license, the country's Gautrain Management Agency celebrated 14 years of rail network operations that made public transportation fast and convenient.