A new system has to be found to replace the “ineffective” K53 driver testing method, the head of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said on Tuesday.

Ranthoko Rakgoale told Parliament’s portfolio committee on transport that “no one really applied” the techniques taught by the K53 system.

“When you drive, you don’t do all those things,” he said.

“We are subjecting people to something we don’t even monitor. This is an ineffective system.”

Rakgoale said an effective solution needed to be found to reduce South Africa’s high rate of road fatalities.

According to an RTMC report there were 12 011 fatal crashes in South Africa in 2007, compared to 12 456 the year before.

There was a total of 14 920 road fatalities in 2007.

The RTMC said around 7 000 road users are left disabled and 40 000 are seriously injured in road accidents each year.

The World Bank has said that should nothing effective be done, road crashes will become the second largest cause of deaths in South Africa by 2020.

Rakgoale also told the committee that high numbers of South African vehicles were found to be carrying false number plates.

“You find that this number plate does not belong to a Mercedes, but that it belongs to a Toyota,” he said.

“That is the reality in this country.”

According to the latest data from the RTMC, the number of unlicensed vehicles on the roads increased to 428 537 in 2007, compared to 345 341 the year before.