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It is now not only South Africa's sporting heros, musical legends and television stars that are choosing Personalised Number Plates ... Malusi Gigaba, current President of the ANC Youth League and Member of Parliament, has adorned his vehicle with a Gauteng personalised number plate. Despite his origins in KwaZulu Natal he is affirming his residency in Gauteng with a regional personalised plate.

Malusi, with degrees in Education and Social Policy, is part of a group of rising political figures that are sure to lead South Africa well into its future. He is among the many South African politicians that have chosen to move with the times and exercise choice in selecting a vehicle registration number.

The Personalised Plates market continues to see consistent growth with the number of Personalised Registration Numbers (PRNs) in circulation now exceeding 10 000 in the Gauteng Province. KwaZulu Natal, the Province with the longest track record in the PRN market, boasts over 20 000 PRNs in circulation.

With the launch of 7 Character plates the choices available to motorists will now increase from 2 176 782 336 combinations (over 2 billion) to 78 364 164 096 combinations (over 78 billion). This 3500 percent increase in PRN alternatives represents an exciting innovation and line extension for the personalised plates product category. Other consumer products may launch newly sized packaging or different flavours - PRNs are now also taking on a new form with the release of 7 character plates, a move which has required the amendment of legislation governing the display of number plates. Motorists can now sport 7 character combinations followed by the Gauteng Coat of Arms and the Provincial suffix GP.

Letlapa Plates, an entrepreneurial company with an empowerment shareholding, is contracted by the Gauteng Department of Transport & Public Works to act as a marketing agent for PRNs in the province. With a 10 year track record in the number plate market, Letlapa Plates exhibits the requisite technical, systems and operational expertise to forge the growth of this unusual product category. "We've been at the forefront of the personalised plates market since its inception in South Africa. Having researched the industry worldwide and having developed customised systems to direct the flow of telephonic, web-based and fax applications, we are well positioned to provide a first-class service to the motoring population. We interact on a one-to-one basis with end-users, vehicle dealerships and corporate clients alike" says Barry Berman, Managing Director of Letlapa Plates.

Despite the fledgling status of the PRN market, the re-sale of PRNs has begun with astute investors managing to secure up to R20 000 for desirable PRN combinations. Letlapa Plates acts as a broker between buyers and sellers offering re-sale PRNs to the market through its website.

The Gauteng Department of Transport & Public Works has also withheld certain desirable PRN combinations including the highly sought after single character plates, to be auctioned at a public event in the near future. Given that PRNs provide an important source of income to the Department, these premium plates have been set aside to attract competing bidders through which the highest price will be realised for the Province.

Personalised Plates are also gaining popularity within the corporate market with many fleets opting to brand their vehicles with sequential personalised numbers. The number plate hereby becomes a way for fleet operators to quickly distinguish between similarly branded vehicles. For un-branded corporate vehicles, the number plate becomes a branding opportunity and passing motorists are presented with a brand message through the number plate. "The number plate as a mobile billboard provides creative branding opportunities for the motoring population" says Berman. "With the launch of 7 Character plates this opportunity for vehicle branding has been augmented."


Letlapa Plates (Pty) Ltd is a national company marketing Personalised Registration Numbers (PRNs) and Special Registration Numbers (SRNs) in South Africa. The Company's PLATES brand is well established as the market leader in the personalized number plate market and through its call centre, field sales representatives and website, it provides the motoring population with a convenient information and application interface.

With its Head Office in Rosebank, Johannesburg, Letlapa Plates is the Official Agent of the Gauteng Department of Transport & Public Works and is responsible for the marketing of PRNs in the Province.

Letlapa Plates is an entrepreneurial Company that has established and sustained a successful working relationship with the Gauteng Department of Transport & Public Works. Through its information systems, process efficiency and commitment to customer service, Letlapa Plates has become a powerful partner to the Gauteng Department of Transport & Public Works in the marketing of personalised plates in the Province. This successful public-private collaboration is expected to flourish further as the market for PRNs is expanded, the re-sale market grows and further innovations in the product line are collaboratively launched by Letlapa Plates and the Department. With the imminent launch of 7 Character PRNs, the next milestone in the product life-cycle of PRNs will be the launch of alternate colour numbering on number plates. Black lettering on white retro-reflective backing has been tabled as an aesthetic suggestion for the Gauteng market. The SABS 1116 regulations which govern number plates as a law enforcement tool endorses this colour scheme and Letlapa Plates. customer feedback indicates that motorists are looking for an alternative to the blue lettering which currently characterises Gauteng number plates.

The Board of Letlapa Plates comprises its Chairman, Tlhalefang Sekano, its Managing Director, Barry Berman and Directors Brian Benatar, Charles Berman and Ramateu Monyokolo.


Consumers have in the name of aestheticism, attached increasing importance to the appearance and attractiveness of their vehicle registration numbers and number plates.

These trends have emphasised the vehicle registration number as a possession with status and social value. PRNs are an exciting innovation for those motorists who attach importance to having an individually selected vehicle registration number.

PRNs present the ultimate in customisation giving motorists influence over the personal branding of their vehicles. They are perceived by customers as fun and stylish motor vehicle accessories which could :
  • enhance the vehicle's appearance
  • augment driver confidence
  • enable ease of vehicle registration number recall
  • employ the vehicle as a mobile billboard for promotional purposes
Therefore, a PRN is a luxury, aspirational vehicle accessory. A consumer pays a premium for its perceived status, personalisation and communication value.

Therefore, a PRN can be valued based on its :
  • display value - the personal & branding value derived from displaying a PRN
  • tradable value - the value derived from the relative demand for a specific PRN combination


To find out more about Personalised Plates visit the Letlapa Plates website on www.plates.co.za or call 0861 999 333 to speak to a customer service representative. Operators are available in English, Zulu, Xhosa and Afrikaans.


For more information about Letlapa Plates, the marketing agent for PRNs in the Gauteng Province, please contact Thuli Phiri on 082 736 0522.

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