Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Bill: negotiating mandates

NCOP Public Services

30 October 2002
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Meeting report

SELECT COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICES

PUBLIC SERVICES SELECT COMMITTEE
30 October 2002
ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUDICATION OF ROAD TRAFFIC OFFENCES AMENDMENT BILL: NEGOTIATING MANDATES


Acting Chairperson: Mr V Windvoel (ANC) [Mpumalanga]

Relevant Documents
Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Bill [B42B-2002]
Negotiating Mandates Emerging from Provinces on Amendment Bill [e-mail
info@pmg.org.za for document]

SUMMARY
The Committee considered the negotiating mandates on the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Bill, and the discussion was primarily focused on clarifications requested by provinces on various clauses of the Bill. All the provinces accepted the principles and objectives of the Bill, except for contentious clauses cited hereunder.

MINUTES
Mr Windvoel suggested that the Committee refer to the summary version of the negotiating mandates instead of the original one for purposes of convenience. However, reference must be made to the original document in cases of uncertainty. He then afforded the representatives from the Department of Transport an opportunity to provide clarity where necessary.

Western Cape
Mr Windvoel noted that this province accepts the Bill and supports its objects.

Gauteng
Mr Windvoel noted that this province accepts the Bill and supports its objects.

Northern Cape

Mr Windvoel noted that this province accepts the Bill and supports its objects.

Mpumalanga
Mr Windvoel noted that this province accepts the Bill and supports its objects.

Free State
Dr P Nel (NNP) [Free State] expressed the view that Free State wanted the Bill to provide for qualifications of the "representation officer". The Free State feels strongly about this omission in the Bill, and wanted to know why it was still in the principal Act but omitted in the Amendment Bill.

Mr Van Tonder, from the Department, replied that the omission of the qualifications of the representation officer does not suggest that such person will be appointed without the required qualifications. He stressed that persons to be appointed as such must have extensive experience in road transport regulation, and must also have legal qualifications.

The State Law Advisers accepted the proposal by the Free State province to delete wording "municipal laws" and insert the wording "by-laws" in clause 2(a) of the Bill. It was submitted that this wording would not be open to different interpretations.

Dr Nel was concerned that Clause 4 may cause chaos, and felt that it was not necessary as it is already provided for in the Constitution.

The State Law Advisers proposed that it be deleted since it is a duplication of provisions of the Constitution and other legislation.

The Committee agreed to delete this particular clause for the reasons mentioned.

Eastern Cape
The delegates from this province wanted the full names of the driver to be attached to the drivers' licence card in order to prevent corruption and facilitate the work of traffic officers.

Mr Van Tonder indicated that this matter is still under consideration by the Department and has not yet been finalized. The Department has developed small documents which will accompany the infringing notice posted to the offender of traffic laws. This documents will contain the demerits points accumulated by the driver who has committed a traffic offence. The issuing authority could be the local municipality, the Road Traffic Management Corporation contracted by the municipality or the South African Police Services.

Mr Windvoel wanted to know if the Bill covers offences that have been committed by foreign drivers.

Mr Van Tonder replied that this Bill will not cover offences committed by foreign drivers, but discussions are continuing with cross border traffic agencies to find common position on regulation of foreign drivers.

KwaZulu-Natal
Ms J Vilakazi (IFP) [Kwazulu-Natal] wanted to know who will be liable for payment of traffic fines where the driver was not the registered owner of the vehicle caught on camera.

Mr Van Tonder replied that the in terms of this Bill the driver is assumed to be the registered owner of the vehicle in camera offences. The registered owner must identify the driver of the vehicle which committed the camera offence, failing which he or she will be liable to pay the fine.

A special delegate wanted to know who would be liable to pay the traffic fine in cases where the truck drivers are not the owners of the vehicle.

Mr Van Tonder replied that in cases of heavy freight transportation, the operator will be penalised for unroadworthiness of the vehicle. But the driver can be held liable for overloading the vehicle and both the operator and the driver may be held liable for exceeding the speed limit, depending on the merits of the case.

North-West
The delegates from this province requested clarity on the meaning of "pay fine and other monies" as reflected in clause 19(a) of the Amendment Bill.

Mr Van Tonder explained that this proviso is intended to cover cases where the offender fails to pay the fine. The phrase "other monies" simply refers to penalties imposed for failure to pay the traffic fine timeously.

Rev P Moatshe(ANC) [North-West] asked if the 32 day period for payment of fines refers to working days and whether it excludes Saturdays and Sundays.

Mr Van Tonder responded that the rationale was to add another pay day to enable offenders to pay their fines timeously. The period of 32 days will therefore include Sundays and Saturdays, but would not include working days.

Limpopo
This province accepted the Bill as introduced in the National Assembly.

The Members requested an explanation as to whether Limpopo accepted the original tabled bill or the version as amended by the National Assembly.

Mr R Nyakane (ANC) [Limpopo] replied that he does not have an answer to this matter and requested time to obtain clarity from his province.

Mr Windvoel indicated that delegates from Limpopo Province must refer the matter back to their province for clarification.

There were no further questions or comments and the meeting was adjourned.

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