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Intelligent Number Plates On Hold

September, 5 2010

Number Plate News

Motorists located in the Gauteng province of South Africa will have to wait a little longer for the release of the Intelligent Number Plate (INP) system.

The proposed scheme which will include the addition of RFID tagged number plates and 2D bar codes containing unique identification information has been set back on several occasions, with authorities finally agreeing on October as the deadline.

But the project already seems to have fallen off schedule, with October now looking unlikely.

Despite recent commitments from Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane and Roads and Transport MEC Bheki Nkosi, October may be a stretch too far.

During a media briefing, Mr Nkosi explained: “In October, the department will launch the intelligent number plate system.

“The department has set aside R25 million (just over £2.2m) for this project in this financial year. The process has gone past the drafting of regulations where motorists in the province participated in giving their inputs and comments, which have shaped the entire process thus far.

“We undertook to roll out the new number series on aluminium plates, with securitised intelligent features, as from October this year. A project team was appointed to oversee the roll out of this project.

“The specification and standards for the intelligent aspects of the new plates were finalised and a tender process was entered into.”

Neil Campbell, Democratic Alliance spokesman for Gauteng roads and transport, had reservations about the October deadline.

“The portfolio committee has been asking about the tenders, but we get no answers. We've been asking since April. They obviously don't have all their ducks in a row,” he said.

Campbell went on to outline the main areas of delay: “The problem was getting a readable chip. When this was identified, it required a metal backing plate as a crude 'satellite' dish to pick up the disc. Other delays were a lack of legislation – now promulgated and getting sufficient traders to buy new metal embossing machines – a substantial investment for many.”

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