Outa said it plans to mount a legal challenge against the amendment of the Aarto Act. The Act sets up a demerit system for drivers, who lose points for traffic offences, which may result in the loss of a driving licence. File picture: Motlabana Monnakgotla/African News Agency (ANA) Archives.

JOHANNESBURG - The Organization Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) said on Friday it plans to mount a legal challenge against the amendment of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act.

President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this year assented to and signed the Aarto Amendment Bill, making it law. Implementation now awaits the law being gazetted with a commencement date.

The Act sets up a demerit system for drivers, who lose points for traffic offences, which may result in the loss of a driving licence.

Rudie Heyneke, Outa portfolio manager on transport, said they held a workshop to consult the industry on the Bill, made submissions to Parliament based on this and, after the Bill was passed by Parliament, wrote twice to the President asking him not to sign it.

"Outa has opposed this Bill from the start and is now planning a constitutional challenge to it," Heyneke said in a statement. 

The organization called for the Bill to be amended, due to concerns that it would not improve road safety, it is logistically cumbersome to the point of being potentially unconstitutional, and paves the way for corruption.

But Heyneke said the final version of the law does not take into consideration its concerns, saying that pilot projects in Tshwane and Johannesburg using this system over the past decade failed.

Heyneke also said Outa  was concerned that the new Act will be used to force Gauteng motorists to pay e-tolls, by making it an offence to ignore road signs which could include those listing e-toll charges.

"The focus should be on road safety, not on an administratively complicated system aimed at collecting revenue," Heyneke said. 

"We need solutions on road safety, but this isn’t one of them. We want to see a workable law."

African News Agency (ANA)