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Input on AARTO Bill satisfactory - Parliament

Sep 07 2016 19:39
Lameez Omarjee

Johannesburg – The public and other stakeholders were allowed to make their submissions to oppose the proposals of the administrative adjudication of road traffic offences (AARTO) bill.

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Transport was satisfied with the quality of inputs received, it said in a statement released on Wednesday. The public hearings took place over two days.

The Justice Project SA (JPSA), The South African Local Government Agency (SALGA) and SA Taxi were among the organisations which presented their comments for the bill.

“The Committee is going to deliberate on the submissions on Tuesday, 13 September, and those elements that enhance the AARTO legislation will be effected into the Bill,” said Dikeledi Magadzi, chairperson of the committee.

The main issues pertain to how traffic infringement cases are dealt with.

Proposals to the act include the renaming of Road Traffic Infringement Agency to Road Traffic Infringement Authority. In its submission JPSA indicated that this was "pointless" and added more confusion to the Act. Changing the name would incur expenditure.

It is also proposed that electronic mail services be used in addition to traditional mail services to serve infringement notices, courtesy letters and enforcement orders.

In its submission SALGA was concerned about the financial implication to municipalities. Especially those which are issuing authorities in remote areas where there is limited exposure to technology. There are high costs associated with electronic mail. A “less expensive” means should found to serve notices, stated SALGA.

Another proposal is for the RTIA to be financed from penalties issued and collected. The RTIA is also allowed to open and maintain one or more banking accounts with approval from the board.

SALGA stated that this may be subjective. There are also concerns over the e-NATIS cash collecting system. SALGA noted that this could be a “potential cause” for audit queries due to challenges associated with the integrity of the data, linked to the validation and reconciliations of the infringement notice.   

RTIA CEO Japh Chuwe said that surplus revenues would be reinvested to upscale road safety interventions. 

The introduction of repeals is expected to allow the RTIA to issue warrants of execution against infringers. The RTIA will be allowed to block an infringer from renewing the driving licence, professional driving permit or licence disc until there has been compliance or if the order is revoked.

Although this is to reduce road traffic fatalities on roads, SALGA believes this would have unintended socio-economic and political impacts of the provision. RTIA must consider establishing and administering rehabilitation programme.

At the hearing the importance of understanding and the enforcement of the Act was reaffirmed. 

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transport  |  parliament  |  aarto  |  salga
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