Over a year after its planned implementation was ruled unconstitutional, AARTO will soon again be imposed on motorists and commercial fleets.

On 12 July 2023, the Constitutional Court declared the AARTO Act (Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences) and the Amendment Acts constitutional and valid.

This overturns the ruling made by the Pretoria High Court on the 13th of January 2022 in the challenge brought by OUTA (Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse).

AARTO is meant to be a road safety strategy and has functioned in a test operation for several years in Gauteng. But the public appears unconvinced and there are too many opportunities for creeping corruption.

According to press reports, ‘Municipalities must brace themselves for a 50% reduction in revenue derived from traffic fines under the AARTO Act as 50% will be going to the RTIA(Road Traffic Infringement Agency) and the pockets of its executives. Both the CFO, Palesa Moalusi, and the CEO, Japh Chuwe, have been fired for misconduct and financial irregularities, with salaries reportedly reaching seven million per annum in some cases.

There are far too many situations where additional fees flowing from fines make the demerit system more of an income generator than an effective road safety strategy. Paying fines does not of its own change cultural attitudes without police visibility in combination with proper law enforcement.

Press comments observe that ‘AARTO comes with an administrative headache for businesses. It has considerable administrative burdens associated with it in an environment where organisations are already weighed down by legislative requirements. Considering these concerns, AARTO is already off to a bad start in gaining public support.

If you wish to discuss this or for more information, please contact Hennie Botha at 031 713 3146 or at 074 331 1354