Few in SA pay traffic fines: Report

2012-12-30 12:01

Johannesburg - Only a fraction of South Africans pay their traffic fines, according to reports on Sunday.

The annual report of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) revealed that motorists on the national contraventions register owe R1.6bn in outstanding traffic fines issued in the Tshwane and Johannesburg metro municipalities, City Press reported.

According to the RTIA report, motorists in Tshwane and Johannesburg racked up fines of R980m between April 2011 and March 2012, but have paid fines worth only R86m (9% of the total value).

Tshwane and Johannesburg were the only metro municipalities which participated in the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) pilot phase.

Aarto makes provision for a contravention register that captures outstanding traffic fines countrywide. Aarto will also prevent drivers with outstanding traffic fines from renewing their vehicle and driver's licences.

Transport Minister Ben Martins was expected to announce the introduction of the Aarto Act early next year. RTIA was set up to implement the act.

Of the 1.8 million fines issued in the Johannesburg and Tshwane metros in the past financial year, only 251 125 (14%) were paid.

  • patrick.saunders123 - 2012-12-30 12:06

    especially taxis. They don't pay fines, they don't pay tax and soon they won't be paying e-tolls either.

      annie.israel.50 - 2012-12-30 12:44

      Patrick.saunders123 does the government give the taxi drivers also a subsidy for the use of petrol? many years ago they got it for FREE

      debduplessis - 2012-12-30 13:27

      99% are issued illegally i.e. not registered mail or are issued due to faulty cameras giving false readings of speed --- so what did you want everyone to pay for????

      brett.macdonald1 - 2012-12-30 17:56

      For the Traffic Dept to refuse to renew your license in lieu of traffic fines would be unconstitutional. A traffic fine is merely a charge- it isn't a law in itself to prove your guilt. The issuing of an anual road license for your car has nothing to do with a 'charge' where they allege that you were speeding...

      andre.maritz.773 - 2012-12-30 18:28

      Oom Kaspaas, you do not want to see that demographic breakdown.

      francois.smith.7 - 2012-12-30 18:47

      I pay my traffic fines as I do not want to meet Bubba, the taxidriver in prison. I do not pay my tv license, because I do not have a tv.

      richard.payn.12 - 2012-12-30 21:22

      The cops should rather spend time fining the red light jumpers. Far more dangerous. Durban alone would generate hundreds of thousands of tickets each day. Add the green light creepers and the cops (if collected) could generate enough cash to rival SARS.

      nuus.reeder - 2012-12-30 22:44

      Rubbish comment kaspaas, most of my mates laugh off their fines - mlungus boet. Holier than thou - NOT!

      preshen.govender.12382 - 2012-12-31 08:20

      Don’t pay traffic fines don’t pay

      mattewis.kat - 2012-12-31 09:13

      @Andre Maritz The composition of traffic fines are 99.9% speeding and 0.1% drunk driving, which probably does not reflect the true nature of the majority of offences. You've probably never driven in the Eastern Cape to see the level of moving violations committed there? True as bob, you would swear that indigenous folk there are absolutely suicidal on the road. Drunk at 04h00 at the Shell Ultra City rest room beer bottle still in the hand, overtaking on blind rises and bends across solid lines, overtaking on the yellow line, to name but a few. Believe me my liberal friend, you do NOT want to see the demographics of vehicular insurance claims in this country (AND this even excludes the taxis which are mostly uninsured)!

      eugene.meyer1980 - 2012-12-31 09:52

      Ag your outstanding fines. Ben Martins also wants a Nkandla.

      khumo.lebone - 2012-12-31 11:49

      @Oomkaspas or whatever your name is - since SA is a black majority country it stands to reason that the majority of fines would be that of black people. Didn't need to be a genious to figure that one, did it??

      Willie - 2012-12-31 11:56

      In the light of this how on earth are you going to collect e-toll fees?

      Willie - 2012-12-31 12:01

      @patric,saunders123 before you expose your ignorance do a reseach then comment. Operating taxi permit will never be issues if you do not present CURRENT tax certificate, let us be fair sometimes when we comment.

      adrien.mcguire - 2012-12-31 12:42

      @ Khumo I think you just showed your lack of knowledge about statistics. The true reflection of this is the ratio of outstanding fines to the ratio of population group, not the amount of fines issued. Or, alternatively the ratio of car owners by population group, to the ratio of outstanding fines. Or the ratio of drivers by population group to the ratio of fines outstanding by population group. Be careful to make statements such as yours, that is a totally incorrect assumption, not a statement of fact !

      John - 2013-01-01 02:23

      The question no one is asking is why are fines keep on being issued as a sole form of traffic law enforcement when it is clear from the billions of rands worth issued that it is not working? The next question is, are the municipalities relying on these funds coming in? (. I think I know the answer to that one)

  • nico.prinsloo.92 - 2012-12-30 12:09

    With 95% of Joburg fines issued illegally as they are not posted by registered post as specified by AARTO but by normal post…… ;-)

      debduplessis - 2012-12-30 13:28

      or just not posted at all!

      andre.maritz.773 - 2012-12-30 18:29

      @Oom Kaspaas. Read this and weep.

  • nico.prinsloo.92 - 2012-12-30 12:12

    The Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) has slammed Johannesburg Metro Police department for issuing between 200 000 and 400 000 traffic fines a month, reported the Saturday Star. RTIA spokesperson, Japh Chuwe told the newspaper that the numbers are alarmingly high in comparison to other metros. "The JMPD do crazy numbers compared with the 35 000 fines issued in Tshwane," Chuwe said.

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-12-30 12:21

      JZ School of Economics...

  • phoenix.px.5 - 2012-12-30 12:17

    So if only 9% are paid, and you cannot renew your license without paying your outstanding fines (well definitely not in the Western Cape); does this mean that 91% of vehicles on the road are unlicensed??? I find that VERY hard to believe.

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-12-30 12:21

      This only applies to cash cows...

      awake.asleep - 2012-12-30 13:05

      No, you will not be stopped from renewing your licence if you have outstanding fines, however, you will be stopped from renewing your licence if summonses have been issued against those fines and you ignore the summons.

      geronimo.feather - 2012-12-30 13:27

      You're assuming that 100% of the vehicles on the road have incurred traffic fines :-)

      Chris - 2012-12-30 14:55

      yes it does , sombebody is not doing their work ]

      clive.pops.5 - 2012-12-31 08:40

      No, 91% of those who were fined, not 91% of all drivers. Big difference.

      phoenix.px.5 - 2012-12-31 09:55

      @awake I could not renew my license for 2 vehicles this month because I had outstanding fines - NO summonses. I paid the fines at the same time.

      phoenix.px.5 - 2012-12-31 09:56

      Clive thanks for pointing that out - you are correct - although I still think the stats cannot be correct. It still means a significant percentage of cars are not licensed?

  • bongani.nxumalo.1804 - 2012-12-30 12:18

    You would swear that the Metro cops department is self funded as the only thing they are good at is hiding in dodgy places with their cameras. People are jogging and using the freeways as they please but they don't get caught. Something really needs to be done with this.

      Sharpman Wa Ka Machavi - 2012-12-30 12:33

      metro police has become a profit organization dat is expected 2 reach a certain target every month/year, so ofcoz der will always be an outstanding figures dat dey will beg de citizens of SA to pay en a lot of unnecessary fines to be issued!

      themba.thwala.775 - 2012-12-30 12:43

      Well-stated Sharpman. The motorist has become a cash cow to fund the ANC fatcats' luxurious lifestyles

  • JohnDough - 2012-12-30 12:28

    They can go to hell and back, the amount of times I have been asked for a bribe and then threatened when I refuse are countless. I have more respect for a wet brick than any traffic cop.

  • jacques.stander - 2012-12-30 12:29

    As soon as they start making the roads safer , not simply writing tickets for money generation - will i start paying my fines!!

  • andile.memela.92 - 2012-12-30 12:29

    Sies! Additional taxation! Don't S.Africans pay enough taxes without benefits, since a working SAfrican pays for his/her med aid, pvt schooling, security, etc. Stop hiding in the bushes and taking photos in less risky areas, say main rd, Btn kylami and Randburg!

      mikel.kiparski.7 - 2012-12-30 16:03


  • erich.goosen - 2012-12-30 12:35

    Ironically, the metro Councils of Pretoria and Johannesburg were selected to be the pilot authorities to kick off with the Aarto Act. This Act, how unpopular it may be, has numerous effective provisions which, it correctly applied, could ensure that a large percentage of traffic fines were recovered. As is the case wirh many other goods laws (on paper) this one failed dismally as the administrative machinery, mainly the functionaries, are incapable of implementing the system. This is what happens when persons are appointed in executive positions merely on account of their political connections and no regard is given to skills.

      jan.botha.5 - 2012-12-30 14:00

      Agree with erich 'if correctly applied'. The JMPD has for the past 2 or three years blatantly violated the rules of Aarto with regard to how traffic fines are to be issued and refuse to comply with total disdain for those rules. All those fines are illegal and nobody should pay them

      celia.coates - 2012-12-30 23:04

      And SANRAL thinks its going to get people to pay e-tols? :D Another failed system even before implementation.

  • annie.israel.50 - 2012-12-30 12:44

    I am happy so many drivers get away with this - LESS FOR ZUMA TO STEAL!!

      themba.thwala.775 - 2012-12-30 12:55

      Wahahahahaha! Very true :)

      Adeeb Saban - 2012-12-30 13:27


  • Frank Baumann - 2012-12-30 12:49

    go ask Robert Mcbride....or is it mcBRIBE? to pay for it......

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-12-30 12:55

    And they expect drivers to pay e-toll fines???

  • zubair.ebrahim.39 - 2012-12-30 12:58

    maybe instead of having all these cops sit on the road every 500m why dont they incorporate half of the metro into the SAPS to freaking catch some proper criminals. there is more metro police visibility then there is SAPS we want to live in a safer neighbourhood community and country. we pay enough taxes for that right so flip the speeding fines first deliver service then we will pay ur stupid etoll and speeding fines

      Ongendangenda - 2012-12-31 07:52

      Well said!

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-12-30 13:11

    What's new?.

  • lorraine.stephens.3114 - 2012-12-30 13:14

    I regard traffic fines in the same light as an SABC license: OPTIONAL

      Adeeb Saban - 2012-12-30 13:26


      nuus.reeder - 2012-12-30 22:50

      I got nailed by SABC - thought because I had DSTV I no longer needed licence, was pounced on by inpectors and fined - in an area where you only pick up SABC with a dish!!! Is that fair? I hate being honest, it does not help you in this modern world. No good deed goes unpunished is the new moral.

      Ongendangenda - 2012-12-31 07:53

      Me too

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-12-30 13:16

    Cape Town also has the system in place I moved there from Gauteng in 2008 and before I could renew my vehicle licence I had to pay an outstanding fine!!!

      awake.asleep - 2012-12-30 14:52

      Will only stop the renewal of your licence if you have been issued with a summons for the contravention.

      nuus.reeder - 2012-12-30 22:51

      Fair, I paid mine, you must pay yours. We all moan about crime but when we commit it we want to be let off!

      phoenix.px.5 - 2012-12-31 09:57

      Awake not true. I had the same experience 3 weeks ago. I had NO summonses but had to pay outstanding fines.

  • WuXingShou - 2012-12-30 13:25

    Let us see how they administrate the "toll-e" system

      mikel.kiparski.7 - 2012-12-30 16:07


  • fpstevens - 2012-12-30 13:26

    Maybe if all these traffic fines were actually enforceable and not for the most part issued illegally then they would be paid. Who else here has received multiple fines for driving exactly 131 kph, conveniently that's exactly the cutoff speed at which you can be fined in a 120 kph zone, anything below that i.e. 130kph falls within the grace limit. how convenient and strange that I continually drive at exactly 131kph in some areas, not 130kph, not 135kph or even 140kph, but exactly 131kph.

      nico.prinsloo.92 - 2012-12-30 13:44

      Because you use your GPS as guide while driving....rather use 128 than 130 on your GPS (remember GPS tolerance) and they won't get you ;-)

      fpstevens - 2012-12-30 14:23

      Good tip Nico, but that's not the point, I know for a fact that for all of those 131kph fines I did not drive anywhere close to 131, in some cases I was driving less than 120, and in some cases I drove faster than 135kph, yet all those fines are for exactly 131kph. the equipment used is either faulty or more likely are set to some test configuration that simply fines every vehicle that passes. regardless of actual speed.

      oscar.mashigo.3 - 2012-12-30 18:23

      @Belatu. I can't agree more. I have been ranting and raving about the convenience of being fined for exceeding the grace bracket by 1k-ph, despite what I read off the speedo, whether below or above the limit indicated. Bull manure.

  • grant.hide - 2012-12-30 13:35

    I haven't received a fine in years, touch wood.

  • thapelo.gaebetse.9 - 2012-12-30 13:35

    I think bcz they had failed 2 pay fines 4 their prblms dat they hv made den they shouldn't complain about uncertainity dat are found on de roads,lyk pot holes,bcz dose money of fines dat they dodge 2 pay is it that are used 2 reconstruct de road

      frans.delport - 2012-12-30 19:20

      This post just gave me cancer!

      nuus.reeder - 2012-12-30 22:54

      Confusing language boetie ... - 2012-12-31 09:06

      Do you talk to your mother with that mouth?

  • thapelo.gaebetse.9 - 2012-12-30 13:35

    I think bcz they had failed 2 pay fines 4 their prblms dat they hv made den they shouldn't complain about uncertainity dat are found on de roads,lyk pot holes,bcz dose money of fines dat they dodge 2 pay is it that are used 2 reconstruct de road

      phoenix.px.5 - 2012-12-31 09:59

      Seriously??? WTF!

  • tumi.moetlo1 - 2012-12-30 13:39

    If i do pay and not paying,what's the difference?What are doing with that fines money

  • jan.botha.5 - 2012-12-30 13:50

    Obviously if the fines were issued illegally in contravention of AArto why should they be paid?

  • master.kay.7355 - 2012-12-30 13:55

    I jumped the robots after 10pm no traffic takin the patient to hospital. Fined R500. Your circumstances don't matter da important ting is da money being sucked out of people pocket to enrich these fat ass cats

  • mmoledis - 2012-12-30 14:06

    That is true more motorists does not pay their fines and department of transport should do something about that,AARTO is good and should be applied as quickly as possible in order to get those who does not want or willing to pay their fines be held liable by not renewing their motor discs and their drivers licences,that will help department and municipalities to get their monies as easy as possible.

  • rory.n.price - 2012-12-30 14:16

    Start off at the top, work your way down

  • - 2012-12-30 14:34

    what a joke, how on earth are they planning to collect etoll?

  • Mike Peach Purchase - 2012-12-30 14:40

    Why must i pay a fine when combi taxis do as they please.Citizens take pics of them and other offenders and archive them in case you land up in court,stuff this selective fining and the rotten govt.

      themba.thwala.775 - 2012-12-30 15:09

      Those pics are not going to be of very much help. Taxis have reportedly been exempted

  • Mike Peach Purchase - 2012-12-30 14:43

    I think they take that money and arrange some kind of fitness screening program which kills people.

  • Chris - 2012-12-30 14:54

    No new traffic discs are to be issued unless all traffic fines are paid to the appropriate party, some body is not doing their job or there a thousands of unregistered or /and non roadworthy vehicles on the roads. When I worked in commerce & had a company car any fines not paid was paid by the company and quire rightly so deducted from ones salary. The norms of civil society have sadly collapsed in Yarpie land, in the free world you would be doggedly tracked down and fines be paid plus a possible loss of points .

  • lwazy.daizynes - 2012-12-30 14:57

    Ppl dont hav problem payin traffic fines bt what is't that government will do to reduce Road Accidents?

      themba.thwala.775 - 2012-12-30 15:12

      I have a problem paying traffic fines in a country where carnage on the road is alarming, but all the traffic law enforcement athorities are interested in is catch me breaking the laws and effectively saying: "thank you for being an ATM and filling up the government's coffers. Keep breaking the laws as long as you can pay."

  • desmonga.maile - 2012-12-30 15:10

    Firstly the traffic officers must stop hiding themselves when using mobile cams, they must stop breaking the speed limit law cause they are not above the law, lead by example damn idiots

  • AW567W - 2012-12-30 15:24

    And what about the 85% of traffic fines which are illegal? What the hell is been done about that to corrupt morons!

  • lynne.barker.7 - 2012-12-30 15:53

    Add the fines to their utility bills and cut the services if fines are not paid that will soon make them pay

      theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-12-31 11:50

      lol idiot jy dink nie verder as jou neus nie. what you gonna cut at a shack dwelers house or what you gonna cut if it prepaid or yet he is a tenant of a complex sharing power.... shame apartheid has effected you badly sorry man.

  • paddy.sigudu - 2012-12-30 15:54

    I don't think there is enough done by our officers, instead there is more money in their pockets from bribery

  • joe.gomes1 - 2012-12-30 15:58

    Imagine how many will not pay etoll either, JHB Metro is a farce and I refuse to pay their fines, you cannot move in JHB these days with all the swine looking for bribes and speed cameras. Horrible place.

  • linda.dladla.3 - 2012-12-30 16:01

    if the minister ben martins and aarto are looking for a true and effective solution of ensuring that motorists pay their fines, they should contact me on my e-mail or call 073 452 4758

      frans.delport - 2012-12-30 19:26

      Ha ha, cadre connexions! New company name if I may say.

  • chirnsidep - 2012-12-30 16:05

    Yet there are still so many road accident fatalities due to drunk and reckless driving. This just proves that traffic cops are mere ancillary revenue collectors for government and don't care one bit about actually making the roads safer!

  • gavin.badenhorst.9 - 2012-12-30 16:09

    I did not know that I had fines until I received a sms on my phone,but when I went into the site it was a porno site.So a guy that works with me told me about a site called pay city.I checked this site and discovered that I had 2000 rand worth of fines.What is funny though a week before I checked,the cops stopped me and asked for my drivers licence.They even had a van in which they can check if you have outstanding fines and there was none.What makes me angry I did not receive a warning to pay the fines and why wasn't it marked when I went for my licence disc.I heard that all outstanding fines will show when you go for your drivers licence or when you go for your disc.I want a warning in the post from the actual traffic department and another thing why don't they fix the roads.The roads are in such a state my car almost disappears in the potholes.Before I pay one sent for the toll,they must fix the roads.How long have they been busy with the roads.Maybe they need the money to fix the roads.

      nico.prinsloo.92 - 2012-12-30 17:32

      If not informed according to AARTO rules the fines are not valid....

  • mark.vanderheever - 2012-12-30 16:29


      andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-12-30 17:24

      Mark, I think you are 100% correct, the fine notices are required to be sent by registered mail and I recall both JHB and Tshwane admitted they had not conformed to the law. So are those fines enforceable? I wonder!

  • ahenriquesfernandes - 2012-12-30 17:08

    I must be one of the only saps paying then :P The way I see it if I am in the wrong then I should pay.

  • eloff.groenewald - 2012-12-30 17:48

    Well, I received a speeding fine and then drove straight to the nearest magistrates office to pay said fine. After a lot of hemming and hawing, I was told to come back the next day. I still don't understand WHY the fine could not be paid immediately.

  • mike.tanski.5 - 2012-12-30 18:20

    The fines issued in Johannesburg for the last several years were issued illegally. They cannot by law withhold your license unless an AARTO fine has progressed from a notice to a courtesy letter to an enforcement order, or unless you owe money for licenses already. So in short they can go take a hike. What fines? Show me where I received any fines! You can't! Now in the old days when you were stopped on the spot and fined and made to sign for it.......I do not recognize junk mail sent by post, especially if it is a legal document and is not sent registered mail as the AARTO Act prescribes

  • rob.tubbs.39 - 2012-12-30 18:24

    And we all scream 'crime'. We are also criminals if we do not pay our fines. I have paid every one of the few that I have ever got. 'Broken window syndrome'... Come on guys, you broke the law. Cough up. It is invariably not a great deal of money and it will teach you a lesson.

      nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-12-31 07:58

      Rob it is sad to see that most people in SA see nothing wrong in braking the law but if they get hurt when someone els brake the law then they get very, very angry.

      theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-12-31 11:43

      i get fined R500 for the bike's license has expired but a old lady is battered almost to death with a stone the culprit gets R150 bail so wheres the logic how can my offence be more expensive? whe shou crime because we are being robbed and your a fool for falling for the governments cash cow.

      brian.exmachina - 2013-01-01 13:26

      The problem stems from the fact that most people now see the government as a criminal organisation, and no longer wish to give it their money. Another problem is that traffic cops are often dishonest and corrupt, and make up fines to illicit bribes. Yet another problem is that many fines are issued illegally and are not sent through registered mail; knowing that these fines are illegal people then ignore them. Fines are difficult to pay for many people who don't have internet access or live in municipalities that don't make their fines available for payment online. Finally, the fines are often unreasonable and people can simply not afford them. If you earn a R7000pm salary and you're suddenly fined R2500 in a single month because somebody hiding in a bush caught you going 10km/h over the speed limit every day of the month on the same road, chances that you can pay it is nil. Furthermore, studies in many countries have shown that speeding cameras are largely ineffectual and may actually increase accidents as people brake unpredictably when they are spotted. These cameras aren't designed to control speed, if they were they would be out in the open and their locations published for all to see. They are a money making tool. Officers even get assigned a quota of fines to write. In short, there are many reasons why people refuse to pay their fines, a great many of which do not make you criminal but a conscientious objector of sorts where fines are concerned.

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-12-30 18:27

    Don't see the logic. Refuse licenses renewal - loss of income. Driver keeps driving unlicensed. One day in future gets pulled over and fined for no license. Don't pay that fine either ...

  • tommo.too - 2012-12-30 18:34

    and even fewer pay tax...

  • sam.brink.92 - 2012-12-30 18:58

    Maybe they should a) issue the fines legally. B) actually send fines to offenders c) outsource fine collection

  • bruce.westoby.9 - 2012-12-30 19:11

    I Tried to pay a fine, sent a postal order via registered mail, it was sent back to me 2 weeks later as nobody from the court bothered to collect it from the post office !!

  • sanet.n.debeer - 2012-12-30 19:58

    Only if my name was Philemon would I get away with it. Being silly me, I have to pay or be locked up

  • SirFGrumpy - 2012-12-30 20:38

    Why should we pay fines when ministers in the cabinet do not pay fines? Stuff the lot of you, set an example.