Western Cape welcomes Aarto delay

The Western Cape has dropped a bid for a high court interdict against new road traffic legislation, after receiving official confirmation that its rollout is to be delayed.

The Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) is already in force in Pretoria and Johannesburg.

It was to have been introduced in Ekurhuleni, Ethekwini, Nelson Mandela Bay and Cape Town from July 1.

But a proclamation repealing those dates was signed by President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday and was due to be published in the Government Gazette on Wednesday.

Western Cape provincial transport minister Robin Carlisle on Wednesday welcomed the withdrawal.

He said it followed the province’s decision to approach the courts to postpone implementation date in the province after numerous attempts to persuade the national department of transport to do so.

‘We are in favour of Aarto’
“Our application for the interdict was never a rejection of Aarto per se,” he said in a statement.

“We are in favour of Aarto in principle, but as with everything, the success will depend on getting the details of the implementation right and ensuring that it is flawless.”

His spokesperson Solly Malatsi said the interdict application had been dropped.

The City of Cape Town has raised concerns including the readiness of information technology systems, training for law enforcement staff, and the need to educate the public about the implications of the demerit system for motorists.

Other provinces and municipalities have also indicated that they are not ready for implementation.

Earlier on Wednesday the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said the rollout would be delayed for two or three months.

RTMC acting chief executive officer Collins Letsoalo said the delay was to ensure the legislation was effective when it was implemented.

Soccer World Cup hampered preparations
Letsoalo said law enforcement officers’ role in the Soccer World Cup had hampered preparations for the implementation of the
project.

Problems with communication and educating the public on their rights, duties and obligations had also been identified during the pilot phase in Tshwane and Johannesburg.

Its postponement would affect the introduction of the demerit system scheduled to be implemented in April next year.

He denied that the RTMC had bowed to pressure to postpone.

Letsoalo said the postponement should not be seen as a deviation from the government’s commitment to promoting road safety.—Sapa

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