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8 May 2018

Release: immediately

Today, Tuesday 8 May 2018, the Provincial Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works, in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, rejected the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Amendment Bill [B 38B–2015] (NCOP).

The Aarto Act of 1998 was implemented to ensure greater compliance with traffic laws and regulations by delegating the adjudication of traffic offences to an autonomous body and creating a merit based system. It has so far been piloted, quite problematically, in the Tshwane and Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipalities. The Amendment Bill, however, proposes a number of changes to the Act.

Now that the Provincial Standing Committee’s report will be submitted to the NCOP, I call on the Upper House of the Parliament of South Africa to reject this Bill. With more than 10 000 public comments received, along with five public hearings held during February 2018 in Bellville, Khayelitsha, Mossel Bay, Hermanus and Clanwilliam and the majority rejecting this Bill, it cannot be supported.

Some of the major concerns highlighted by the public, were the administering of finances at a national, rather than municipal level, and the lack of success where Aarto has previously been piloted. While a merit based system may be a good idea in theory; it risks the livelihoods of many South Africans who would be forced to drive without licenses. Instead, there should be harsher penalties for bad driving.

Aarto cannot be accepted in its current form. As the DA in the Western Cape we remain committed to promoting safe driving practices.

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