- Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula kicked off the launch of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Amendment Act
- The full implementation of the amended Aarto Act will be done over four phases starting in July 2021 and ending July 2023
- The Aarto Amendment Act will include a demerit system that could see traffic law offenders losing their driver's licences
Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula launched the first phase of the implementation of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Amendment Act on Thursday.
According to EWN, Phase 1 will continue until the end of September this year and three additional phases will end in July 2023.
Speaking at a virtual briefing, Mbalula stated that the implementation of the Aarto Amendment Act Phase 1 entails the expansion of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency's accessibility across the country by providing seven service outlets as well as online services such as the Aarto website and mobile APP.
Phase one will also include communication and awareness campaigns to ensure that road users are familiarised with the new systems being put into place, according to IOL.
Mbalula stated that Phase 2, to start in October 2021 and end in December 2021, will include 67 local and metropolitan municipality areas going online for the Aarto rollout, complete operation of the Appeals Tribunal as well as the establishment of 18 more service outlets.
Phase 3 will begin in January 2022 until the end of June 2022 and will include the Aarto rollout in the 144 remaining municipalities.
Phase 4 will come with the introduction of the demerit system as well as a rehabilitation programme for road offenders. This phase will start in July 2022 and end in July 2023.
Mbalula further stated that the implementation of the Aarto Act is meant to reduce the high rate of non-compliance to traffic laws and to instil a new habit of voluntary compliance to road traffic laws.
With regard to the demerit system, Mbalula explained that the demerit system will punish drivers and fleet operators who commit traffic violations or infringements. Accumulation of demerit points could lead to the suspension or termination of licences, professional driving permits or operator cards.
'This is an objective system identifying reckless drivers and law-breakers so that we can remove them from driving. Common penalties are being introduced for all traffic violations throughout the country,” he said.
Public Protector reports Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula overpaid 3 advisors
In other Mbalula news, Briefly News reported that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane released a report on Wednesday implicating Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula in irregularly appointing three advisors without approval and overpaying them.
Mkhwebane's report on Mbalula was part of 16 other reports her office released. The reports were in relation to public procurement, staff recruitment and selection, the management of ratepayers' funds by a number of municipalities and the plight of whistleblowers, according to News24.
The Public Protector revealed in a briefing that investigations into Mbalula had been undertaken in response to a complaint lodged on 5 August last year by a group called 'Anonymous Concerned Members of Staff'.
Mkhwebane stated that Mbalula and director-general Alec Moemi irregularly appointed L Venkile, K Khoza, B Mpondo and Ms T Mpondo in contravention of provisions of the Public Service Act and other departmental policies, according to TimesLIVE.
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