The AARTO (Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences) Act and its subsequent Amendment Act have been declared unconstitutional and invalid, by the Pretoria High Court today. The proposed ‘demerit system’ for traffic offences is based on said Amendment Act. The judgement was handed down by Judge Annali Basson.
According to RTIA, South Africa’s Road Traffic Infringement Agency, the Minister of Transport, Mr Fikile Mbalula, noted the judgement and is studying it, and will be guided by legal advice on whether to appeal the judgement.
OUTA (Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse) challenged the constitutional validity of the Act, and in October 2021 challenged the court to declare the Act and the Amendment Act unconstitutional.
OUTA CEO Wayne Duvenhage stated “For several years now we’ve tried to engage with the authorities and making sure that the various amendments and changes are constitutional, practical and workable but true to form they have ignored our input and not participated meaningfully with civil society, which left us no alternative but to go to court and have it stopped in its tracks. We’re very pleased with the judge’s ruling. It now sends government back to the drawing board on what has become quite a mess.”
The court also directed the Minister of Transport and the RTIA to pay OUTA’s costs.