Road users have again expressed concern over the new Administrative Adjudication Road Traffic Offences Act or Aarto system, saying that it could only increase bribery and lawlessness on the country’s roads.
The latest piece of legislation to be signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa has received much criticism from motorists, with the latest complaint emerging from the KwaZulu-Natal road users and taxi industry, who maintain that the system may only lead to an increase in bribery.
Although the KwaZulu-Natal transport MEC Bheki Ntuli has described the Act as a step in the right direction to circumvent all the atrocities taking place on the roads, the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) disagrees.
Santaco’s Sifiso Mthethwa said the system posed a grey area on the road in which a motorist and an official could choose whether to deduct points or to have an agreement in the form of money.
The department of transport has indicated that it would look into concerns raised by motorists. The system will be used to deduct road user points and is a measure to tackle South Africa’s high rate of road accidents and fatalities by way of a demerit system. It is expected that Ramaphosa may launch the system soon.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has however hailed the system – despite apparent criticism – as an intervention to deal decisively with lawlessness on roads.
“We have won an important battle, but the war on road fatalities is not yet over. Here is to many victories ahead, as we work together in ensuring safer roads, in this, our beloved South Africa!” he said on Twitter.
(Compiled by Gopolang Moloko.)