OUTA attended several public hearings held by legislators in different provinces over the last year on this issue. Despite calls from the public, civil society and stakeholders from the transport industry that certain sections of the Bill are unconstitutional the ruling party used its majority in the Portfolio Committee on Transport to accept the Bill.
“It will be interesting to see if the President will sign the AARTO Amendment Bill into law before the national and provincial elections on 8 May 2019 as it may sway votes,” said OUTA’s Transport Portfolio Manager, Rudie Heyneke.
The demerit point system was heavily criticized by the transport and fleet industries, who will stand the chance of losing their drivers licences which will negatively impact SA’s already high unemployment rate.
In addition to public outrage on the amendments, metro officials from TMPD and JMPD along with fleet owners and taxi associations supported OUTA’s stance that the Bill should promote road safety rather than focusing on creating revenue.
“We once again request that the President and his advisors take a good look at the Bill as well as the submissions from the public before signing off on a Bill that will have a detrimental impact on our economy,” added Heyneke. “The AARTO Amendment Bill is as unworkable as the irrational e-tolls scheme and we will do everything in our power to protect the constitutional rights of road users”.