Aarto roped in to tackle defaulters

2012-02-26 16:18

Pretoria – Government plans to snag defaulters on the Gauteng freeways using the Aarto “stick” (which is actually currently no more than a blade of grass).

Department of transport spokesperson Tiyani Rikhotso told Sake24 the civil process to which government spokespersons had referred in the past week by means of which defaulters would be forced to cough up, was nothing other than the controversial Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act.

According to Rikhotso, the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) will enter into a service-level agreement with the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) which will undertake collections through the Aarto process.

Problems with Aarto are, however, legion.

Gary Ronald of the Automobile Association points out that Aarto is currently in force only in Johannesburg and Pretoria, while large parts of the freeways concerned run through Ekurhuleni.

It therefore appears that Aarto could indeed expand countrywide with a view to the toll system that comes into operation on April 30.

The RTMC was to have held a conference last year to explain this complex piece of legislation to interested parties. But the conference is yet to take place.

In addition, a set of new regulations intended to resolve the problems that arose in the trial runs in Johannesburg and Pretoria have lain on the desk of Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele for months. It's unclear why the minister has not signed them or referred them back.

Despite assurances by the RTMC, there is widespread scepticism about the ability of the traffic authorities to implement Aarto. Furthermore, the RTMC’s own affairs are chaotic and its ability to execute only the extra work for Sanral is seriously in doubt.

In the Johannesburg and Pretoria trial runs only a small part of Aarto was tested. No case has yet come to court and no one's property has been confiscated to pay outstanding fines - as government this week threatened would happen to dodgers.

Moreover, Western Cape Minister of Transport Robin Carlisle bluntly said that if necessary he would go to court to prevent Aarto being implemented in the Western Cape before all the problems had been ironed out.

Ronald said that if Aarto was expanded, it would have to be without the demerit system. It would be unconstitutional for people in Gauteng to lose their driver’s licences because of traffic violations while people in other provinces did not, he said.

He said Aarto problems were not that serious for individuals, but operator and vehicle violations cause great problems for businesses with their own fleets.

Ronald said he could not see Aarto coming into force countrywide before the end of this year.

At the request of Sake24, the public protector is undertaking an investigation into all Aarto issues.

 - Sake24

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  • Pierre - 2012-02-26 16:31

    Amazing, the ANC just won't listen. And the threats by Gordhan and Manayi were not well received. Perhaps the Gauteng Toll System will be the spark that will make Cairo seem like a Sunday School Picnic compared to the the ANC's Tahrir Square

  • Eduard - 2012-02-26 16:55

    Fact is, there are very minimal alternatives to the toll the government is pulling a fast one and we the public will end up not only paying for the roads usage, but this will be added to food and everything else being transported via these roads. Can the government not think and cancel this, or should the public refuse to pay and protest like they did in Nigeria about the "sudden" fuel levi?

  • Sheik - 2012-02-26 17:15

    More hot air!

  • Rudi - 2012-02-26 17:35

    Correction mr Ronald. You say you can't see Aarto coming into force before the end of this year. You actually mean before the end of this millenium and by then we will be flying space ships in stead of driving cars!

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2012-02-26 17:53

    These lazy fat cats couldn't organize a piss up in a brewery, let alone implement their chaotic IT system .

  • edwin.black2 - 2012-02-26 18:05

    GOODLUCK, to sanrail.Hope they makeup for the moneis them and the goverment that have spent millions,hoping us as the tax payers will again spend on their corrupt dealings of the world spending.

  • Matthew Patrick - 2012-02-26 18:20

    There's glitches throughout the current fining system & they want to implement e-tolling?

  • Sarah - 2012-02-26 18:27

    AARTO is happening, whether we like it or not..people in Joburg are already paying their AARTO fines, whether they received it through registered mail or by a phone call from debt collectors(as a first notification, may i add)..the fact that they can pay half price for an infringement that was R100 in the past, and is now R250, ease the high charges, but, not receiving the fines in time to take advantage of the half price, is discouraging..

  • Kevin - 2012-02-26 18:38

    Everyone is going to boycott the tolls so you will not catch anyone

  • Johnathan - 2012-02-26 18:42

    What did I miss between the project being suspended and stake holders (AKA us the toll payers) being consulted and now government threatening is citizens saying the system is in place. Man, I don't think Goebbels was even this good at propaganda. Feeling like somebody pulled us (the citizens) pants down and left us out in the rain for all to look. Only power we have is to refuse to register for the E-Tags and avoid using the tool roads to the best of our ability. For once here is a cause that has no racial bounds, economic status protection or political alignment. All South African citizens in Gauteng are and will suffer (Directly by the tolls or indirectly by inflation caused by the tolls) What is sad is that the government uses the apathy of South African citizens to collect revenue that is not rightfully theirs knowing full well we as citizens have no collective conscience and common will for a cause affecting all South Africans to fight for it. In terms of world citizens, we are week and our government uses this to ensure overseas consortiums rape revenue back to their countries because SANRAL allowed tenders to be issued who's beneficiaries are well taken care of even though money is taken off shore. Who out there with a ball sack (willing to be abused by government powers) is going to take up this cause and lead us (all South African citizens) into the fight for what is right?

  • Willem - 2012-02-26 20:09

    The goverment comes up with legislation all the time that is nice in teorie, but if the service delivery in license offices is anything to go by un implementable. Arto will certainly make sure that people are going to drive without licences or with even more falsified once. Wake up ANC government you are heading for anachie sooner that you thought, and even your supporters will through rocks at you.

  • Wesley - 2012-02-26 20:23

    You know what they should do with these e-tag gantries over the highways, take off the cameras and add steps on both sides, pedestrians could then use it to cross the highway.

  • Max - 2012-02-26 20:56

    Keep your eyes open, this legislation will have the effect that the collection process will be outsourced to all these scaly collection attorneys in Pretoria. This is yet again just a money making racket for some connected cronies. Mark my words, we will have to pay the fines and collection fees to the attorneys.

  • SaintBruce - 2012-02-26 23:02

    How can SANRAL collect any monies through enforcement by AARTO when they toll on a "user pays basis" and no mechanism of dispute resolution exists while AARTO is , itself, in a mess and violate their laws by sending fines by permit mail??? The article points out that Ekurhuleni uses the Criminal Justice Act to prosecute offenders and not AARTO - which does not work, or talk to the eNatis system - so roads would be selectively policed - quite unfair! If you are stopped at an infamous JMPD roadblock or at licencing with the "outstanding fines" ploy - your defence? 1) You did not receive service (permit mail is NOT service) 2) If they print and serve the infringement notice at that point - you STILL have 32 days to a) Pay and get 50% off or b) Contest the summons in a court of law or c) Make a declaration of a different driver atthe time of the offence .... In other words, you don't have to pay anything there and then! KNOW YOUR RIGHTS.

  • Tc - 2012-02-27 06:49

    Joke! Mass disobdience with tolling will not be controllable.

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-02-27 08:28

    AARTO is an evil system that aims to deny travellers the right to freely travel as per common law rights of every single human being. People should start to recognize that most people are not drivers, but are travellers. Drivers are those who use roads to engage in commerce and make money example:(taxi "drivers"). Anyone not doing this is by rights a traveller and should be able to do this freely by any means possible. To me it looks like we have all been hoodwinked into accepting "driver' status, something we would never do if we knew the consequences it held.

  • Jonathan - 2012-02-27 15:38


  • pgibbings1 - 2012-02-28 19:56

    You know, Australia has toll roads around the cities... but its more to encourage people to use public transport which IS readily available... and none of their freeways between cities (like our national roads) have tollgates on, and they are still expanding the network... and we not talking about 200-300km between cities, you are talking about 1000km between cities... just a thought... yet we have tollgates allover, and yet theres never enough money left in the coffers (after being filtered through a few officials personal bank accounts) to even maintain them... just a note worth mentioning: their petrol per litre (converted to rands) is just a little bit more than ours, but yet is about 3x less per litre than their minimum hourly wage :)

      Balan - 2012-03-23 17:05

      @ pgibbings, yes I pay $1.36 per liter at the moment but also don't forget we have big competition with low fuel prices as well, if you purchase from woolworths or coles you get 4cent or even 8cents off a litre. On top of all that I own two 6 cylinder cars which is still affordable to run and I've never heard of toll road fees here

  • peter.norma - 2012-02-28 20:37

    Interesting that the "authorities" are suddenly so keen to enforce regulations. Could it be that certain people in very high places have a personal vested interest in getting these tolls collected??? You see, I dont see such a rush to enforce other regulations, such as clearing away the beggars and hawkers at every intersection who are breaking the law and creating a hazard!! But then, i dont suppose that this would line many pockets!!

      berni.venter - 2012-03-15 14:19

      Hit the nail on the head Peter. Time is running out for the fat cats and they know it. Appears that there is a frenzy to get as much money out of the country as quickly as possible doesn't it?

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