Zimbabwe has made the decision to stop importing number plates but it remains to be seen whether local companies will be able to step up to the plate.
Foreign currency shortages have seen a new number plate becoming a priced possession in the Southern African country.
However, moves to address this anomaly are underway with Zimbabwe’s Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister revealing that local universities have since been tasked with exploring the possibility of manufacturing number plates with relevant security features.
“Following a presentation by the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development on the need to produce number plates locally as an import substitution strategy, Cabinet tasked local innovation hubs to come up with a patent for the local production of number plates with the requisite security features,” said Mutsvangwa.
“Cabinet tasked local innovation hubs to come up with a patent for the local production of number plates with the requisite security features. Cabinet is confident that the move to produce number plates locally will ease the current shortages being experienced in the country due to the limited availability of foreign currency.
“The local production of new number plates will also increase the utilisation of the country’s resources, including local scientists, and create employment for citizens.”
Earlier in the year Zimbabwe relaxed rules relating to the use of Temporary Identification Cards (TICs) for imported vehicles as the country battled to address the number plates shortage.
Previously TICs had a 14-day lifespan but the move saw that being extended indefinitely.