Only a fraction of South Africans pay their traffic fines, according to reports on Sunday.

The annual report of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency revealed that drivers on the national contraventions register owe R1.6 billion in outstanding traffic fines issued in the Tshwane and Johannesburg metro municipalities.

According to the RTIA report, drivers in Tshwane and Johannesburg racked up fines of R980 million between April 2011 and March 2012, but have paid fines worth only R86 million - just nine percent of the total.

Tshwane and Johannesburg were the only metro municipalities which participated in the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences pilot phase.

Aarto makes provision for a contravention register that captures outstanding traffic fines countrywide. Aarto will also prevent drivers with outstanding traffic fines from renewing their vehicle and driver's licences.

Transport minister Ben Martins was expected to announce the introduction of the Aarto Act early in 2013. RTIA was set up to implement the act.

Of the 1.8 million fines issued in the Johannesburg and Tshwane metros in the past financial year, only 251125 - 14 percent - were paid. - Sapa