South African motorists will be breathing a sigh of relief after proposed regulation would have put them in danger of losing their driver's license.
The Pretoria High Court has declared the Aarto Amendment Act unconstitutional and unlawful.
If the Aarto act was introduced, drivers would incur demerit points which could ultimately lead to the suspension of their driver's licenses.
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) approached the courts in October 2021 to challenge the constitutional validity of the Act.
OUTA CEO, Wayne Duvenage says the findings by Judge Anna Basson are a win for society at large. He believes that the National government was overstepping the law by trying to usurp the power of local government and their responsibility of managing traffic infringements.
He believes that the act would have given members of the public a short period of time to appeal traffic fines as well as being administratively cumbersome.
Duvenage adds that the proposed discount for motorists to pay fines in a short period of time was a money making scheme.
He said, “This whole issue of discounting is a problem when it comes to law enforcement. You don't offer somebody a discount when they transgress the law, that's the fee and it needs to be paid but they do so to get people to pay quickly because it's a money making scheme”.
Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula has noted the judgement handed down by the Pretoria High Court. In a press statement it says he will be guided by legal advice on whether to appeal the judgement or not.
Duvenage believes that if the department wants to appeal the ruling, they will have to go back to the drawing board. He is calling for engagement between the department of transport and civil society in a meaningful way.