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Regulations on Foreign Professional Driving Permits in the Pipeline

October 29, 2021

Department of Transport

Regulations that will prevent a foreign national from driving a South African registered truck using a foreign Professional Driving Permit are in the pipeline.

In a statement, the transport department indicated that the draft amendments to the National Road Traffic Regulations are now before parliament for comment and the plan is to publish amended Regulations by the end of November 2021.

The transport minister, Fikile Mbalula, provided an update on interventions to address the demands of truck drivers.

Recently, truck drivers have been blockading national roads making demands ranging from their conditions of service, employment of foreign nationals and issues relating to professional driving permits.

The draft amendments to the Regulations were published for comment in Government Gazette 44484 in April 2021.

The Regulations were drawn up in terms of the National Road Traffic Act.

A new Regulation 116A on authority of a Professional Driving Permit issued in a foreign country is proposed.

It stipulates that the “authority provided by a professional driving permit issued in a foreign country shall apply in respect of a vehicle registered in the country that issued any such permit”.

Such a permit will not apply to a vehicle registered in South Africa.

The minister confirmed that, once this Regulation comes into effect, a “foreign national will therefore not be permitted to drive a South African registered truck using a foreign Professional Driving Permit”.

Other steps to be taken include strengthening the process of validation and verification of immigration documents, work permits and foreign drivers’ licences with a synchronized process between countries proposed for driving licences and foreign operators to make use of an operator permit/card with a one-year validity period.