By Umamah Bakharia
The Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Acts has been declared unconstitutional and invalid by the Pretoria High Court.
The court delivered its judgement on Thursday, according to Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa), who legally challenged the Aarto Act and Aarto Amendment Act in October last year.
The organisation asked the court to declare both acts unconstitutional, which was opposed by Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula and the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA).
According to Outa, Judge Annali Basson ruled that both acts “must be declared to be inconsistent with the Constitution in its entirety”.
Radio Islam spoke to Outa’s Advocate Stephanie Fick on OUTA’s stance on the amendment.
Fick says OUTA has welcomed the judgement.
“We are very pleased with the court’s decision. OUTA believes that AARTO in its current format does nothing to improve road safety, nor does it reduce the scourge of road fatalities in South Africa,” says Fick.
She adds: “We are satisfied that the judgment will be sending government back to the drawing board. This time around, we trust the relevant departments will engage meaningfully with civil society to obtain our input when developing such important policies for the country. South Africa needs effective processes enabled by fair adjudication that complies with the Constitution.
Outa argues that national is intruding on the exclusive jurisdiction of the local government.
Early last year, the Department of Transport announced Aarto’s effective date as 1 July. However, the Act was not gonna be introduced all at once, but rather over four phases.
The amended Aarto Act includes the much-maligned demerit system.
Motorists will have a 12-month reprieve as the online demerit system is only scheduled to go into operation as the final phase rollout on 1 July 2022.