The general number plate system will still be in use, Molefhi pointed out. The Member of Parliament for Tonota North, Fidelis Molao, had asked in parliament when the registration system would be introduced in Botswana. He also enquired about its feasibility. A local businessman, Vincent Nthomeng, feared that the personalised number system could expose prominent people to criminal elements. “I think it’s good that government allows flexibility and more freedom of choice for its citizens.
Now everyone will be able to customise the look of their cars according to their personal tastes, especially celebrities and private companies. I still feel that it might just expose some people to crime as we see in South Africa and other countries,” said Nthomeng. However, the Botswana Police spokesperson, Christopher Mbulawa, had a different view.
He argued that the introduction of the new system does not necessarily mean that crime levels will go up.
He contended that although the possibility of crime exists, car thieves will very rarely steal a car with a personalised number plate as such vehicles are easily identifiable and traceable. Thus such personal registration numbers may add a safety feature to the car, he observed.
The popularity of this new system has brought forth a new business opportunity.
A personal registration plate is a great accessory for any car. It not only makes a car more personal and unique, it can make for a great gift to a loved one. With many people prone to forgetting their cars’ registration numbers, the new system may just be what the doctor ordered. Personalised registration plates also make business sense to small companies out to increase their visibility.