Sonya Skipp discusses the challenges a fraudulent driver’s license could create for you.

Many will tell you that the road is long with many a winding turn. Truck drivers in South Africa sure have had a torrid time of late and a severe shortage of truck drivers in the US has led to more companies bringing in drivers from South Africa. 

The US has been grappling with a chronic lack of drivers for years, but the shortage has reached crisis levels because of the pandemic, which simultaneously sent demand for shipped goods soaring while also seeing a surge in early retirements.

Bringing in foreign workers comes with a number of challenges, including visa limits and complicated immigration rules. Arnoux Mare, chief executive of Innovative Solutions Group, told RSG that this was not a new trend and that South Africans have been in demand for several years.

He added that these drivers would still be required to do their licences and learn the various road rules, so South Africans should not expect to start working straight away. 

Sonya Skipp of iFacts, says that 47% of public driving permits verified in 2020 were fraudulent.  She stressed that it was essential for drivers to have their documentation verified when applying to work overseas. Many people are found to be frantically scrambling for police clearance certificates and certified copies of documents at the last minute and delays in having the correct documentation could lose the driver the opportunity to move on.

South African truck drivers operating in South Africa have also been challenged by the number of foreign drivers operating in the country and the Minister of Transport recently published a bill requiring South African trucks to only be driven by someone holding a South African PDP.

The gazette proposes that a foreign citizen (driver) who holds a certificate / document that allows the driving of certain classes of vehicles in the home country of the foreign citizen (where such document is required and was issued) will no longer be valid (acceptable) in South Africa for the driving of any SOUTH AFRICAN registered vehicle that requires a PrDP (class D, G or P as the case may be).

Sonya Skipp says she cannot help but wonder how this may affect the people who are out trying to “sell” licenses to those desperate for work. She referred to a recent scam at the Tshwane licensing department where Tshwane MMC for Roads and Transport, Dikeledi Selowa, warned of scams at licensing centres. These scams target people who need learner or driving licences, as well as those who have outstanding fines.

Some pointers to ensure you are not being scammed:

  1. Only do any business inside the designated licensing office.
  2. Ensure you are dealing with an official and you are within your right to insist on obtaining the name of the official.
  3. Do not make any payment without obtaining an official receipt from the relevant department.
  4. Driving schools are not able to issue any driving licenses.
  5. Know what the gazetted fees for licenses are.

Sadly fraud is real in South Africa due to the high levels of corruption. We need to ensure we have the correct documentation to avoid massive challenges in career advancement.