Major changes in licensing in force


03-November-2011

In a press release forwarded to Nation yesterday, the SLA says the changes follow modernisation of the Licensing Act and its regulations, and came into effect on Tuesday November 1.

It said the changes are an important component of the economic reforms and meet International Monetary Fund and World Bank targets.

Most business and trading licenses will now be valid for five, rather than just one year “automatically bringing more security and confidence to the businesses”, said the SLA.

The fees for the licenses have been revised to comply with the provisions of the Licensing Act 2010, to cover only the administrative costs of issuing the licences.

“These fees in some instances have been reduced considerably, for example for the tourism accommodation licences and the larger manufacturing entity licences.

“The licences which will not be affected by the changes are those for vehicles and machinery, which have to be tested for road-worthiness each year such as taxis, cars for hires, public omnibuses, bicycle for hire, lorries and pick-ups for hire.

“Also those relating to sea transport and fishing such as hire craft, fishing and diving businesses which involve boats and other vessels which need to be tested for sea-worthiness every year before the licence is renewed,” said the SLA.

“There are three other groups of businesses which have not been affected by the changes due to the fact that there are new regulations and laws being prepared by their respective parent ministries or agencies which regulate them.

“These are Health Professional Licences and Complimentary Health Care, as the Public Health Department is preparing new regulations for these soon.

“For broadcasting and telecommunications businesses, the Department of Information, Communication Technology is preparing their own regulations.

“Casinos and betting licences which will also in future be regulated by their own bodies and regulations have also not been changed.”

The SLA says the new regulations also make certain changes to the Road Transport Regulations and most important of them is the drivers’ licences which will now be granted for 10-year instead of 1 or 5-year periods.

“The licence fee will remain R500 for 10 years and the SLA will be giving a moratorium of three months for those drivers whose licences have expired and have not been renewed.

“The surcharge will be waived if those drivers come to renew their licences between now and January 31, 2012,” said the SLA, adding there are other minor changes to the regulations regarding vehicle registration numbers.

The SLA said it will launch a website soon, to help businesses by enabling them to find useful information on licensing including requirements and fees.

“The licence application forms, renewal forms and others will also be available on the website.

“Later we will be able to introduce direct on-line application. For the time-being however applicants may download the forms, complete them and then if they wish to send the application by email they may do so by scanning the forms and other documents which they can submit to the SLA through the website email or by fax.

“Once the application has been processed, the applicant will be informed so they can come and pay and collect their licenses.

Members of the public will also be able to contact the SLA directly through the website if they have enquiries or if they wish to make a complaint,” said the SLA.

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