WeBuyCars, RTMC in online vehicle registration drive

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 23 Aug 2023
The WeBuyCars branch in Silver Lakes.
The WeBuyCars branch in Silver Lakes.

Online vehicle marketplace WeBuyCars, in partnership with the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), has launched an online service to register newly-purchased motor vehicles and change of ownership.

They say the system is designed to create a seamless, convenient interface with motor vehicle dealerships and financial institutions, to conduct online vehicle registration and change of ownership transactions directly on the Natis website, without the physical handling of documents and visits to registering authorities.

The initiative was announced yesterday by transport minister Sindisiwe Chikunga at the WeBuyCars Dome, in Johannesburg.

The service is for targeted organisations, rather than individual members of the public. Access to register vehicles online is only afforded to approved Natis users (companies) that apply through the RTMC. At this stage, it’s only open to financial institutions, insurers and motor dealerships whose applications are approved.

The launch follows more than a year of development and testing, with the RTMC and WeBuyCars innovation and technology teams among a limited number of users, to pave the way for a smooth introduction.

Chikunga commended WeBuyCars for partnering with the RTMC on the development of the system, and called on other large dealerships and financial institutions to follow suit and collaborate with the Department of Transport, to improve service delivery in SA.

“The use of the online registration and transfer of ownership has the ability to mitigate the backlog experienced by registered authorities and so empowering officials to improve their performance in several other areas.

“The primary objective of this online service is to provide a digital platform that efficiently resolves the current challenges related to the administration for the registration of certificates, thereby fast-tracking the duration for producing the tangible documents.

“I want to believe the syndicates and fraudsters out there don’t feel good about what is being launched today [Tuesday], and we are happy about that. This service is the latest in several technological improvements that have been introduced on the Natis system to improve service delivery to make it easy for stakeholders to transact,” explained Chikunga.

In 2022, the online licensing of vehicles was introduced to the public, offering vehicle owners convenient access to services from the comfort of their homes 24 hours a day, seven days a week, she added.

These include the vehicle clearance interface implemented to ensure all police clearances can be captured online by the South African Police Service. This was followed by the implementation of an online hire purchase interface, to assist the motor vehicle finance and insurance industry to verify vehicle particulars and driving licences of applicants before granting finance or insurance for a vehicle.

A total of 708 330 vehicle licences have been renewed on the online platform since inception, Chikunga noted.

Following the launch of the online vehicle licence services, the RTMC says it has been on a continuous pursuit of using technology and innovation to provide efficiency in all areas of road traffic management.

WeBuyCars previously used the services of a middleman to register and change ownership of vehicles. This process required filling in many forms and queueing at licensing authorities to register and/or change ownership of vehicles, it says. This exercise was costly and opened an opportunity for corruption.

Faan van der Walt, CEO of WeBuyCars, said: “WeBuyCars is delighted to be partnering with RTMC in this initiative, and we look forward to providing our customers with a more streamlined and effective method of transacting.

“WeBuyCars is built on a technology platform, and given the RTMC is working on more enhancements, we are always ready to provide assistance where we can.”

A total of 3.2 million vehicle registration and change of ownership transactions are conducted on Natis annually, according to the RTMC.