Fin24

Strike may disrupt festive season

2010-11-12 06:53

Pretoria - On Tuesday the transporting of both freight and passengers in Gauteng could be disrupted by transport workers' union Satawu's march protesting the controversial Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act.

Satawu, which has 100 000 members countrywide, previously threatened to bring the country to a standstill over the festive period as Transport Minister S’bu Ndebele had several times cancelled appointments with it, and the authorities were deaf to its objections to Aarto.

According to Satawu general secretary Zenzo Mahlangu, a meeting eventually took place last Tuesday.

Ndebele himself had not been present, but George Mahlalela, the director-general, and other officials were.

Collins Letsoalo, the acting chief executive of the Road Transport Management Corporation (RTMC), who has to implement the legislation, was also present. He confirmed that a task team of five members each from the union and the authorities had been put together to discuss Satawu’s grievances.

But he denied Mahlangu’s assertion that the task team had to report back by December 10 and that the authorities has agreed to put off any further implementation on January 1 next year.

Letsoalo said that the mandate he had received from Ndebele was to have Aarto in force countrywide by March 31, sans the demerit system, which would follow later. It might be implemented even earlier in the other four metros, he said. The systems in these cities were up and ready and all that was required was consultation with certain groups.

Mahlangu also said the authorities had undertaken to refrain from commenting on a  possible date for the further implementation of the act unless an official announcement was made. But Letsoalo denied knowledge of this.

Aarto trial runs are currently under way in Tshwane and Johannesburg and at the last minute some time ago Ndebele postponed its extension to Durban, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Ekhurhuleni – which had been planned for July 1 this year.

According to Mahlangu, bus drivers, truck drivers and taxi drivers in Gauteng would take part in a protest march on Tuesday. Satawu asked employers to give workers time off and even to join the protest themselves, as Aarto would affect them too.

Letsoalo said he respected everyone’s right to protest, but he considered it inappropriate before the task team had completed its work.

Satawu, said Mahlangu, was considering also throwing its weight behind the newly established business people’s Aarto action group which had received broad support from the business world regarding legal action to wipe Aarto of the statute book and refer it back to the legislator.

The action was being led by the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Solidarity trade union and the civil rights group Afriforum had also thrown their weight behind it.

- Sake24

For business news in Afrikaans, go to Sake24.com.

Comments
  • Realist - 2010-11-12 07:09

    If all drivers are subject to the same laws then I have no problem. The VIP blue light brigade must also be subjected to the same laws.

  • Steven - 2010-11-12 07:21

    Aarto is just another money making racket that will do nothing to make our roads safer!!!

  • JA - 2010-11-12 07:28

    IF YOU ARE A LAW ABIDING CITIZEN THIS SHOULD NOT AFFECT YOU, IF YOU ARE NOT AND HAVE NO INTENTIONS OF ABIDING BY THE RULES, THEN YES GO & PROTEST AND SHOW THE COUNTRY AND YOUR YOUR CHILDREN THAT YOU DON'T VALUE LAW & ORDER.

  • Joe - 2010-11-12 07:54

    If they do not break the rules of the road, they will have nothing to worry about!!!!!

  • Bullet - 2010-11-12 07:58

    @Steven I agree. What does this ruling circus know about law & order when they break it daily and ignore due process. Aarto is nothing but a money making exercise for the anc crook to steal more.

  • Jomal - 2010-11-12 08:41

    There is a real fight to be embarked on, that of toll gates between PTA & JHB not this nonsensical one that these are guys are willing to take...This is one is a none issue, you simply have to comply, finish and klaar....

  • Menelaos - 2010-11-12 08:45

    I agree this is all a money making thing if we had proper roads and if we could aliviate traffic on the roads threw proper public transport like europe and if they didnt start constraction on all the raods all at one time instead of starting at one road and finishing, People would be more calm on the roads and all we would need is more cops on the roads thus also creating more jobs which south africa is suffering from.

  • Frans - 2010-11-12 08:55

    How dare they try to implement Aarto. Don’t they know that it is the self-established right of 80% of the road users to kill, maim and destroy others on the road? Who give them the right to enforce the 80% to stop at a red robots or stop streets or to stop the 80% to use turning lanes to go straight. It is the other person who must stop or give way, who ever the other person is. Don’t they know that barbarians don’t conform to laws and that this country is a barbaric country?

  • Matt - 2010-11-12 08:58

    Reserach AARTO and then comment....it works and has been tested in other countries with great success. Money making scheme.....yes, if you break the traffic rules.....which is breaking the law...you will pay... Period!! A great system to stop the carnage on the roads....hopefully!

  • mary - 2010-11-12 09:00

    The points system is a far better way to implement traffic safety then what we have at present. the threat of having your license taken away is huge, Im all for it.

  • korie - 2010-11-12 09:06

    I just think its too much about these strikes and protest if u dont break the rules of the road then why should worry, and another thing everybody strikes these days the only people that are left to strike are the pensioners and domestic workers we are tired of the strikes because its costing the country mellions of rands thats why investors are dreging their feet to come and invest in our country its because of these strikes so peaple be careful because at the end of the day other companies will buy machines that will make a job of about fifty people and people will fired.

  • NeutralGround - 2010-11-12 09:06

    The VIP brigade are doing their jobs the way they drive is standard protocol. When you see blue lights just move over, it could be an emergency that you dont know anything about.

  • Transporter - 2010-11-12 09:11

    @Leon. All drivers should check all indicators and refuse to drive if all is not right. By more training, even the bad apples can be sorted out. The laws are enough. The people policing it is a big problem. If you been kept on your tows, by implementing the current system correctly now new system is needed. The problem is the human being. He would rather bring new things to control him instead of changing himself. Please do not make remarks on AARTO if you do not know what it is. I am studying it for years and I am still unclear of the correct implementing of certain parts. On paper and in news papers it can look good and I am not going to lift out any good or bad. All I would like to say is that we want to implement a more difficult system, but we cannot even use our current simple system correctly. We want systems and machines to think and work for us where all we need to do is to do our work properly. Now system can work if WE are not willing to WORK.

  • bullpeanut - 2010-11-12 09:15

    Leon, I understand your reasoning but fear it is misdirected, that vehicle should not be on the road in the first place because it endangers MY wife and child. If you are given an unroadworthy vehicle, then by law and definition you are not allowed to use it on public roads, AARTO or not. Going against AARTO will only benefit those already breaking the law. Drivers that work for "somebody else"? To be protected by protesting implies that they are currently flounting the law. Solve the problem, not the simptoms.

  • Dylan - 2010-11-12 09:26

    I FULLY support AARTO! If they don't then they obviously drive like tools and would fight something that would hinder their illegal and dangerous ways! Times are changing and so do the laws. We can't be stuck with our third world laws if we want to become a better place. The taxi drivers should have no say in laws. They should abide, like the rest of the drivers. There are no unions for the average shmo driver. It's only these vultures that are going to suffer. And lets not forget the Tow-Truck drivers, vermin of the streets. (let me just generalise here by saying that there will be less BMW's on the road after AARTO as well.)

  • Jamo - 2010-11-12 10:52

    Like RICA, FICA, NHI etc, the govt is fooling most of you into equating AARTO with safer roads (because that is their promise). Which govt promise have they delivered on so far? Now they want to implement ANOTHER expensive (to the taxpayers) system run by the same corrupt clowns. So yes, I want safer roads, but start by running the current system properly, THEN come up with some grand new scheme that is going to cost a fortune to implement and I might consider supporting it.

  • Mark - 2010-11-12 11:05

    For a system like this to work you will need proper and accurate checks and balances managed by people who know what they are doing and are willing to work (not drop the ball just because a Union makes a call for a strike - imagine the back-log). What no one has mentioned is that the fines are initially allocated to a vehicle and then to the owner of the vehicle who has the "valid" drivers licence ... what if you lend your car to a friend, how long do you think your points will last and how long will it take AARTO staff to re-allocate the penalty to the actual driver???? Works in other countries because they have enough intelligent people operating the systems (and have IT systems that work) not "jobs for pals" type appointments. The department cannot keep up with existing workload, imagine complications in the suspending and re-issueing of licences !!!

  • Mike - 2010-11-12 11:21

    Dylan you are probably one of those people who think that park lights are for driving , that putting your lights on in bad wheather is unnecessary & that doing 60km/h in the right hand lane is ok. Guess you cant afford a BMW so you hate them. If all SA drivers were a little more careful & curtious towards other road users the hiways would be a pleasure to drive on.Stop looking at what the taxi's are doing and geting away with, if we all do our part the problem would be solved.

  • Paul - 2010-11-12 11:55

    AARTO is unconstitutional. Hoe can you declare that merely because a notice was sent in th post it was received--then you come and confiscate goods to pay for a fine that no one was given the opportunity to challange in a court of law? You have the legal right to face your accuser.

  • Boondokker - 2010-11-12 11:59

    VIVA AARTO. Govt should stand it's ground for once and bring some law & order to our roads/streets.

  • Nic - 2010-11-12 12:10

    The objective with AARTO is for the sanction for braking the law hurt the driver where it hurts. But... 1. Considering the status of current enforcement, it will not be enforced as per legislation. 2. Expect a sharp increase in job applicants for traffic cops. Boy, the potential for increased bribes... yummy!

  • badbews - 2010-11-12 12:56

    What's new, strike morons, strike. All the better for the loss of income for the poor, the fat-cats laugh at the masses for doing their bidding, time and again. What a bunch of idjuts (aka-idiots) 0

  • Seen it All - 2010-11-12 13:36

    Yes, we have RICA, FICA, etc, but crime continues. We have had the PFMA (Public Finances Management Act)for many years and corruption grew happily despite it. With that track record for the country's laws, what good can come from AARTO? Oh, I almost forgot, we also have laws against rape and murder ...

  • Mageza - 2010-11-12 14:14

    I'm a taxi driver, We work long hours and do not need the stress of corrupt traffic officials enforcing AARTO, this AArto will not work, I always bribe my way out of difficult situations. It will not work, that I can tell you..Waste of Time and tax-for those who pay their taxes, that is.

  • Margaret @ Mageza - 2010-11-14 15:41

    If you bribe your way out of "difficult" situtaions then you are just as corrupt as the traffic officials you mention.

  • Face Facts - 2010-11-15 01:23

    Sorry to burst a few bubbles here but amazingly, 99% of those who comment on AARTO and come out in such strong support of it seem to know little or nothing about it. This system is so dissimilar to other points demerit systems, it is just not funny. Taking people's drivers' licenses away from them is not going to cure the carnage problem, it is just going to create more UNLICENSED drivers on the road. Look at the bigger picture please! Only programmes designed to CORRECT bad driving habits, institute PROPER law enforcement for ALL moving violations, addressing the rife corruption problems and providing roads in a state fit to carry motor vehicles is going to have a significant impact. Many of those who routinely say that they obey the rules of the road know very few of them. Just approach any one of the two traffic circles in existence in South Africa and you will see what I mean. By the way, for those who seem to think that the speed limit does not apply to them, remember that from 20 November 2010 you will have your licence suspended if you do more than 30km/h over the speed limit in an urban area and more that 40 km/h over the speed limit on a freeway or outside an urban area. AARTO or no AARTO.

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