Specially designed and allocated parking bays are set aside for the exclusive use of people with severe mobility impairments.

These bays are 3.5 meters wide. Smaller dimensions prevent the person concerned from being transferred to or from a wheelchair. Clearly marked parking spaces, with yellow borders and a wheelchair sign in the middle of the surface, are indicated under the heading Official Road Traffic Signs by the Road Traffic Act. The blue signs with a white wheelchair sign at the top are normally also placed at the front of the parking space. These parking spaces must also be within 50m of an accessible entrance to the building.

Access is a human right

It is not a matter of convenience for persons with disabilities, but a human right to access the same facilities on an equal basis with others. When someone who is not entitled to use such a parking space does so, even if it is “just for a few minutes”, they obstruct those who are entitled to it and prevent the individual from being able to access the building.

Enforcement is a challenge

Unfortunately there are insufficient standard regulations in South Africa around these bays which leads to many frustrations, especially for those who enjoy travelling, as each local authority has control over its own system of issuing parking discs and prescribing law enforcement. Parking permits that can be obtained in one municipal area are therefore not necessarily valid in another area.

NCPD has for some years promoted the idea of one standard system with the same parking permit which can be used across the country and which is endorsed by the National Department of Transport, and is urgently needed.

Someone transferring from the driver's seat of their car to their wheelchair
Wheelchair accessible parking bays in an undercover parking garage


Application Process

Currently, selection for the parking permits are handled by Traffic Department staff. Parking permits are issued to the person concerned, with reference to his/her name and identity number and not for a specific vehicle with reference to the registration number. Permits holders can therefore use the permit in any vehicle.

There are 2 categories of discs: individuals who self-drive and organisations who provide transport for persons with disabilities

Application forms are available at your local Traffic Department. The application form must be completed by the applicant and an Occupational Health Practitioner, and submitted to the Traffic Department together with –


  • copy of the applicant’s ID document
  • 2 x ID photos
  • Nominal fee (which differs between municipalities)


  • Proof of organisational registration (NPO no.)
  • Photos of the organisation’s logo on the vehicle
  • Vehicle licence
  • Driver’s licence
  • Driver’s ID


Application by proxy

In instances where the applicant is unable to submit their application in person, someone else is able to submit your application on your behalf, as long as they have a letter from you confirming that you have asked them to submit the application on your behalf.

We also still handle most parking disc enquiries via APD’s

Vehicle rebates

The SA government (through the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC), the Department of Trade, Industry and Competitions (DTI) and the SA Revenue Services) provides a rebate on the customs duty of the importation of adapted vehicles, either for use by persons with disabilities who drive themselves (self-drive), or by an organisation or individual that transports persons with disabilities (assisted transport). The rebate is also available for imported second-hand vehicles that have already been adapted.

The rebate is intended to cover the cost of the adaptations to a vehicle, as a concession to those who require this extra expense. For this reason, only those applicants who comply with ITAC’s criteria will be approved.

NCPD is the DTI’s official partner and facilitates the application process so as to certify that the applicant has a substantial impairment, complies with the criteria and requires the use of an adapted vehicle.


A permit will be issued if:

  • The vehicle is right hand drive and has been homologated by the SABS to comply with the road safety requirements to register the vehicle with the licensing authorities; and
  • Hand controls are to be fitted to the accelerator and brake pedals; or
  • Brake and accelerator pedals have to be swapped; or
  • Brake and accelerator pedals have to be extended

A permit will not be approved if:

  • The vehicle is a left hand drive vehicle and has not been homologated by the SABS that it complies with the road safety requirements of the licensing authorities; and
  • The person is too tall to drive and ordinary vehicle but no adaptation is needed to drive a vehicle, except that the steering wheel folds away to allow access into the vehicle, this being a standard design feature of the vehicle that is produced in this way for all persons


Assisted transport

A permit will be approved if:

  • The vehicle is right hand drive and has been homologated by the SABS to comply with the road safety requirements to register the vehicle with the licensing authorities; and
  • The vehicle has been or will be structurally adapted, i.e. the floor pan of the vehicle has been modified to incorporate clamps/clips and an anchorage for the safety harness to hold the wheelchair and person with a physical disability steady and in position when the vehicle is driven; or
  • Railings are fitted to the door and sides of the vehicle for a person with a physical disability to hold onto when the vehicle is in motion; or
  • The vehicle has to be fitted with medical equipment, such as an oxygen cylinder, to allow the person with the physical disability to be transported.

A permit will not be approved if:

  • The vehicle is a left hand drive vehicle and has not been homologated by the SABS that it complies with the road safety requirements of the licensing authorities; and
  • No structural adaptation is to be or has been made to the vehicle to transport persons. (Fitting only of a hoist to the vehicle is considered to be insufficient on its own)


Self Drive

  • Application Form (Self Drive)
  • Letter of Motivation
  • Panel Report
  • Medical Report
  • Quote for Adaptation
  • Copy of Identity Document
  • Copy of Drivers Licence
  • Homologation Certificate
  • Specifications of Vehicle

Assisted Transport

  • Application Form (Assisted Transport)
  • Letter of Motivation
  • Medical Report
  • Quote for Adaptation
  • Declaration of Individual or Organisation
  • Copy of Identity Document of Driver
  • Copy of Drivers Licence of each Driver
  • Homologation Certificate or Letter of Authority
  • Specifications of Vehicle

Application procedure

  1. Download the necessary forms above
  2. Make an appointment at your closest APD for the panel assessment
  3. Take the completed forms with you to the assessment
  4. Your complete application will then be sent by the APD to our office, and we will hand deliver it to the Department of Trade and Industry for review (The turn-around time for applications is approximately 6 – 8 weeks) 

REMEMBER : You must have the rebate certificate BEFORE you purchase the vehicle.


The Blue Flag is an environmental award, given to communities that make a special effort to manage their coastal/inland water environment and beaches with respect for the local environment and nature. To attain the Blue Flag status, the community and its beach operators have to fulfil a number of criteria covering water quality, environmental information and education, safety, service and facilities. Only local authorities or private beach operators can apply for a Blue Flag for beaches.

The Blue Flag is awarded by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), a non-governmental environmental organisation, which is represented by national organisations in each of the participating countries. The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) is the national operator in South Africa to facilitate, assess and monitor beaches, marinas and boats to comply to the prescribed standards and criteria for accessibility.

Primarily, Blue Flag is an educational programme designed to encourage participating municipalities to meet high environmental and sustainability standards.

A view of the beach with a wheelchair mat rolled out to the sea water

There is no clear indication of the number of beaches in South Africa that could be considered for universal accessibility. However, we do know that 54 full status beaches and 20 pilot beaches throughout the coastal provinces applied for accreditation in 2023.


A head and shoulders photograph of a white-haired man with a moustache looking into the distance the right.

Beach accessibility is coordinated by Mr Jakkie Pieters in Jeffrey’s Bay.

Himself a wheelchair user and Chairperson of APD Eastern Cape, Jakkie is the ideal person to head up this important part of our vision – that of beach accessibility for everyone!

NCPD is one of the stakeholders in the Blue Flag accreditation process and part of the National Jury, responsible for evaluating the Blue Flag applications for final accreditation by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).  Jakkie is our representative for this and the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA)

Beach Access Permits

As South Africa’s coastal zones are protected conservation areas, legislation prevents the use of motor vehicles on beaches. While wheelchair users are permitted to use a power or manual wheelchair on South Africa’s beautiful beaches, it is often extremely difficult to get onto the beach without a motor vehicle.

Specific permits which allow the use of a motor vehicle in the coastal zone by persons with disabilities are allocated by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment. NCPD is the official partner of the DoFFE and screens and certifies the applicants as persons with severe mobility impairments who require a permit.


The person must have a substantial mobility impairment which makes it impossible for them to gain access to the beach from the parking lot without a vehicle.