Home FleetWatch 2023 Minister of Transport outlines way ahead for AARTO

Minister of Transport outlines way ahead for AARTO

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Minister of Transport Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga: “As we proceed with the national rollout of AARTO, we will proclaim implementation in 69 municipalities by the end of this calendar year, while AARTO will kick-in in the remaining municipalities by 1 July 2024.”
Minister of Transport Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga: “As we proceed with the national rollout of AARTO, we will proclaim implementation in 69 municipalities by the end of this calendar year, while AARTO will kick-in in the remaining municipalities by 1 July 2024.”

The recent decision taken by the Constitutional Court to declare the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act constitutional has opened the way for AARTO to be rolled out across the country. In other words, AARTO is back on the table and for our readers interest, we publish below a statement by the Minister of Transport Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, spelling out the way forward.

“On 12 July 2023, the Constitutional Court in handing down judgment on the constitutionality of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act, confirmed that indeed the law was constitutional, and no aspect of it encroached on the executive powers of other spheres of government. The ruling affirms our long-held view that this a necessary law to advance our efforts in arresting the carnage on our roads.

“We welcome this judgement as it provides clarity on the mandate of the national government to determine and enforce norms and standards that apply uniformly across the country. A fragmented system of adjudicating road traffic offences based on the whims of individual Provinces would undoubtedly result in chaos and render road traffic law enforcement interventions ineffective.

“The AARO Act is an important cog in our road traffic law enforcement interventions aimed at arresting carnage on our roads and alter driver behaviour. This will reinforce other interventions such as classifying traffic policing as a 24-hour, 7-day job, alongside the regulation of driving schools and introduction of an NQF level 6 training for traffic law enforcement officers.   

“The implementation of this law across the country has been pending for 25 years, with pilots in place in the Cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane. With this judgement having cleared the path for the implementation of AARTO, we will move with speed to roll out its implementation across the country without delay.  

“We have had the occasion to engage with the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) in order to assess our state of readiness for accelerated rollout of AARTO across all municipalities in the country. We are pleased that the progress we had made on the eve of the constitutional challenge enables us to target 1 July 2024 for the nationwide rollout of AARTO. We have already established 43 service outlets across various Provinces.

“We have completed requisite processes to implement the AARTO adjudication process as well as the electronic service of infringements. The latter will come into effect as soon as the President proclaims the AARTO Amendment Act.  

“We are also ready to finalise our recommendations to the President for the appointment of the Tribunal and the proclamation of the AARTO Act nationwide implementation, as well as the promulgation of the AARTO Amendment Act.  

We have also completed the process of drafting regulations and have consulted with the Minister of Justice and all MECs. We are finalising the matter of concurrence by MECs and have received concurrence from the vast majority of Provinces. This is a matter we intend to put to bed at the upcoming meeting of the Shareholders Committee, made up of MECs responsible for Transport and traffic matters.

“We will equally move with speed with the implementation of the points demerit system, an important cornerstone of the AARTO Act, intended to act as a deterrent for wayward motorist behaviour on our roads.  

“We are pleased that this judgement not only removes the uncertainty that was created by this legal challenge, but enables us to focus on ensuring that our roads are safe for all road users with penalties that will make a telling difference. The unacceptably high rate of fatalities on our roads is driven by many factors, with driver behaviour being one of the most serious. We have no doubt that the AARTO Act will make a difference by introducing severe penalties which include attaching movable properties of infringers, putting an end to a culture of impunity.

“As we proceed with the national rollout of AARTO, we will proclaim implementation in 69 municipalities by the end of this calendar year, while AARTO will kick-in in the remaining municipalities by 1 July 2024.  We are working closely with the Department of Co-operative Government and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) in ensuring that all municipalities have the requisite capacity to implement the law.”

Editor’s Footnote: FleetWatch contacted legislation guru Alta Swanepoel asking if she will be restarting the courses on implementing AARTO. She points out that, as the Minister has indicated, the AARTO Amendment Act of 2019 must still be promulgated and the new set of AARTO Regulations must also be published.

“We are therefore going to schedule our training/information sessions once we have the final legislation and regulations to ensure that delegates receive the latest and updated information,” she says. Swanepoel has also urged anyone attending other AARTO training to enquire from the company providing the training if the latest information is used for the training material.

FleetWatch will announce training dates from Swanepoel once she has them in place. Talk about going back to the drawing board. Here we go.

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