‘We have to be sensible about our approach’

2019-08-27 06:00

On Tuesday 13 August president Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Amendment Act into law.

My department, having aligned itself to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Brasilia Declaration to reduce fatalities by 50% by 2020, will therefore, support any sensible initiative aimed at achieving this goal.

I, therefore, support the strategic intent behind the development of the Aarto Act.

However, I have serious concerns regarding the readiness of the Road Traffic Infringement Authority (RTIA) to implement the Aarto Act. The lack of readiness was apparent when the Aarto Act was piloted in Johannesburg and Tshwane.

While I understand that a proclamation still has to be signed by the president before it is implemented in the Western Cape, I am concerned that the premature implementation of the Aarto Act will have an effect contrary to what is intended.

If the RTIA and municipalities are not ready to implement the Aarto Act, it is more likely to lead to a break-down of law on our roads.

Furthermore, the idea of creating a central Appeals Tribunal to deal with all appeals relating to fines is ludicrous and unworkable. The City of Cape Town alone issued more than two million fines in 2016. If a small proportion of fines issued around the country are taken on appeal, it would paralyse the system and provide lawless road users with means to escape accountability.

Over the coming days, I will be taking up my concerns with my national and local colleagues before deciding on how to proceed.

Bonginkosi Madikizela, MEC Transport and Public Works

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