Wednesday, January 19

AA Calls for Aarto Deployment to Stop


The Traffic Violation Administrative Adjudication Act (Aarto), including the driver’s license demerit point system, must be stopped and the law must be repealed, says the Automobile Association (AA).

Read: Aarto’s demerit point system will only be implemented in July 2022

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The AA said on Monday that serious doubts about Aarto’s future, which require urgent attention, were raised by the announcement of the Road Traffic Management Agency (RTIA) in late October of the termination of his ex’s employment contract. CEO Japh. Chuwe.

The AA wrote to the Parliamentary Transport Portfolio Committee last week, requesting to halt the deployment of Aarto, the dissolution of the RTIA by repealing the Aarto Law, and clarifying the details of why the Chuwe contract was terminated.

Failure

He said the RTIA’s failure to implement a fair, equitable and effective traffic control system rested primarily with Chuwe, but under his tenure, the organization was dysfunctional and could not implement and manage Aarto.

The AA said that Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula should, as a result of this failure, repeal the Aarto Law, thus dissolving the RTIA and “for the time being” place the traffic law enforcement exclusively under the auspices of the Procedural Law. Penal.

In addition, the AA said details of the reasons for Chuwe’s dismissal must be fully disclosed, including all significant dates and events, the rand value of any financial loss to the RTIA, and if any has occurred. loss, the measures the government is taking. to recoup these losses.

“Ongoing processes in relation to the ‘other senior managers’ mentioned in the RTIA statement [announcement] it must also be disclosed, ”he said.

Attempts to obtain comment from the Mbalula spokesperson were unsuccessful.

Read: Department of Transportation in a race against time to fully implement Aarto

Undoing Fiscal Abuse Organization (Outa) executive director Wayne Duvenage said Monday that he does not understand the logic behind AA’s call for Aarto to be scrapped just because of a senior management change at RTIA.

“If we fire someone for mismanagement or corruption or whatever, the system does not depend on a single individual,” he said.

However, Duvenage said that Outa has taken Aarto to court and “perhaps the minister has no choice but to dismiss him and start over because there are constitutional issues on which we are still awaiting trial.”

This is a reference to Outa petitioning in July 2020 that both the Aarto Law and the Aarto Amendment Law be declared unconstitutional because these laws usurp the exclusive legislative authority of both the provincial legislatures and the local government.

Read: Implementation of the Aarto Law on July 1 against possible legal challenges

The Transport Minister and RTIA opposed the request, while the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister (Cogta) did not object and will abide by the court’s decision.

The case was heard in Gauteng North Superior Court last month, and Judge Annali Basson reserved the trial.

This is not the first time AA has expressed its concerns

The AA has previously expressed concern about the implementation of Aarto, stating that while it supports the introduction of a point demerit system as envisaged in Aarto, current regulations are more geared towards revenue collection and do not promote road safety. .

“The time has come for parliament to put road safety above profit, and a significant step in that direction will be to ensure the halt of the implementation of the current Aarto Law and to publicly air all the reasons why Mr. Chuwe’s contract was terminated.

“South Africans have a right to understand the circumstances in which an executive director of a major institution like the RTIA was fired,” he said.

The RTIA, in an announcement published Oct. 29, said the agency’s board of directors had terminated Chuwe’s contract following “findings from a disciplinary process carried out as a result of investigations by an independent firm of forensic investigators.” .

Research

He said the board further noted that these investigations emanated “from the Auditor General’s 2019/2020 audit findings and whistleblower reports on allegations of gross mismanagement by the Registrar / CEO. [Chuwe] and other high officials ”.

The AA said Chuwe had been employed by the RTIA for nearly 15 years, initially as a senior manager and from 2010 until his dismissal as registrar and CEO.

He claimed that Chuwe was “very close to those who were responsible, or was himself directly responsible for a series of events,” such as:

  • Execution and start-up of the Aarto pilot project, which was launched in 2008 for what was advised would be approximately a period of 18 months.

  • Failure of the Aarto pilot project and unexplained delays in the feedback and review process of the project.

  • Abuses of process and disregard for the Aarto Law, which led to a court ruling against the RTIA in the Fines 4 U case seen in North Gauteng Superior Court.

  • Revisions to the Aarto Law, which removed key administrative fairness protections in the core of Aarto and introduced further complications.

  • Conflicting and revenue-oriented reviews of Aarto regulations, including the introduction of the Violation Penalty Rate and revisions to Schedule 3, which are disproportionate and unfair, particularly towards those who drive for a living.


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