The roll out of intelligent number plates in South Africa’s Gauteng province has been delayed by four years until November 2013.

The plates were scheduled to enter service in January 2010 but their manufacturing process will begin only in February 2010, the department said.

The $4.28m (R32m) electronic number plate system is required for the province’s new electronic tollgates, which will be set up on N1, N3, N12 and R21 freeways that are currently undergoing a $3.34bn (R25bn) upgrade.

The plate system will place a number validation label on the rear window of vehicles, along with a barcode to allow traffic authorities to scan for vehicle information such as vehicle identity, owner details and to track number plate manufacturers.

The plates will also have an RFID tag that contains a unique identification code to prevent illegal copying and use of the plates.