National Road Traffic Amendment Bill: deliberations

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03 June 2021
Chairperson: Mr M Zwane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Video: Portfolio Committee on Transport, 03 June 2021

National Road Traffic Act, 1996
Department Response to Public Submissions

In a virtual meeting, the Committee went through clause-by-clause deliberations of the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill, under the guidance of the Committee’s Content Advisor, State Law Advisor, Parliamentary Legal Advisor and Department officials.

The Committee spent most of this meeting deliberating on the definitions in clause 1, as there were several inserted or substituted definitions that needed clarity or raised concern, some of which Members proposed to amend. Most of the concerns raised, were either already discussed in the Subcommittee meetings or supported by public submissions. For instance, the substituted definition of “ambulance” has been expanded, but Members were still concerned that this definition did not specify that the conversion of ambulance vehicles must be "legally" adapted.

There were several references to the proposals made during the public hearings, which the Department has approved. For instance, the substituted definition of “instructor” is vague compared to the original definition in the Act as it did not provide for the criteria of an instructor. The Committee supported the submission.

When discussing the microdotting of vehicles, Members noted the Director-General had previously discussed plans to include microdots on number plates and asked why this had not been indicated in the definition of “microdot fitment centre”. The Committee Content Advisor confirmed that although the Director-General did present the possibility of adding microdots to number plates, the majority of the public comments were opposed to the addition of microdots to number plates.

For this meeting, the Committee deliberated up to clause 6 (e), line 55. It will continue deliberations in the third term from 17 August after the extended constituency period.

The Committee Secretary presented the Committee programme for the third term. It has been confirmed that the Term 3 Parliamentary Programme is extended by two weeks until 15 October 2021. However, there is still a constituency period for four weeks: 6 September – 4 October 2021. The Committee’s agenda prioritised legislation, the Public Protector Report and quarterly Department performance. It appeared that the Committee’s scheduled oversight visit to Mpumalanga on Moloto Rail would be postponed again, because the House Chairperson had indicated that oversight visits would not be permitted in the third term. The Chairperson informed the Committee that the draft programme is a living document, subject to change.

Meeting report

Opening Remarks
The Chairperson welcomed the Department, State Law Advisor and Parliamentary Advisor. It was noted that some Members might experience connectivity issues due to load shedding. The Deputy Minister will join the meeting a bit later.

National Road Traffic Amendment Bill: clause-by-clause deliberations
Adv Alma Nel, Committee Content Advisor, shared her screen and presented both the principal Act (National Road Traffic Act, 1996) and Bill side-by-side:

Long Title
Adv Nel indicated how the Long Title of the Bill differs from how it appears in the principal Act. Back then it was just to provide for “road traffic matters”, which still apply uniformly throughout the Republic and including all of the additional amendments which the Act has gone through. Depending on the outcome of Members input, this Long Title might change. She noted that there was no reference in the Long Title to the newly proposed provisional driving licence, which might have been an oversight – if the Committee does not agree to it being added in the Long Title, then it is not an issue. If Members have any additions to the Long Title, it will be noted to ensure that any amendments to the Long Title are included in the A-list.

Mr L McDonald (ANC) said that the Long Title might change going ahead as Adv Nel has already alluded to. He suggested that the Committee come back to the Long Title at the end, after they have gone through each clause.

Clause 1(a) – substituted definition of “ambulance”
Adv Nel asked if the Subcommittee would seek to make some input, especially on the “adaptation of vehicles for use of ambulance” based on views the Committee previously had on the conversion of ambulances.

Mr McDonald said that there was a lot of vehicles that were illegally homologated to be adapted to ambulances. He asked if something could be added to ensure that ambulance vehicles cannot be homologated vehicles, so that it is only one model that is changed into an ambulance. That was raised in the Subcommittee. There are a lot of illegal unfit ambulances, registered as ambulances and being used to transport patients, who are dying in those illegal vehicles.

Adv Nel replied that the Committee would take guidance from the Parliamentary Legal Advisor and the State Law Advisor. On the “adaptation of vehicles for use of ambulance”, she noted the discussions in the Subcommittee that this might be best addressed by adding “legal adaptations” or “legally so adapted” to ensure that if it is a converted vehicle, it was done so through an authorised MIB (manufacturer, importer or builder of vehicles) and complies with safety specifications. This might also be covered in the Emergency Medical Service Regulations 2016. It depends on what the legal advisors say.

Mr T Mabhena (DA) said that Mr Hunsinger had referred to panel vans illegally converted into ambulances as part of the inquiry which included the issues dealt with by the Subcommittee.

Clause 1(b) inserted definition of “body builder”
Adv Nel said that the new definition means “any person who builds and fits new bodies on chassis or chassis cabs, or modifies motor vehicles”.

Mr Mabhena said that a “body builder” is referred as “any person”. It does not put any conditions that the person has to be qualified. Referring to the definition of “authorised officer”, he asked if there could also be some conditions added to the definition of “body builder”.

Adv Nel replied that the Act also makes reference to “any person”, but in the submissions on the Bill, there were comments that “any person” does open and widen the definition. One could consider changing this to “a person so authorised”. The drafters would have to give input on what is considered to be appropriate in legal drafting, or if or not, based on the legal drafting, it is advised to use “any person”. She has made notes of Members comments.

Clause 1(c) - substituted definition of “builder”
Mr McDonald said that he is worried about “used components”. He asked if the word “used” can be removed. He is worried that the builders would use an old part and put it on top of a new chassis.

Adv Nel replied that the Legal Advisors would see if there is a possibility that it can be amended.

Adv Nel said it is also important to note that they have removed reference in the old definition to “or modifies motor vehicles using new or used components”. It is a duplication, which is probably why DoT suggested removing the second reference. This could mean that the builder creates a brand-new vehicle, either from new or used parts. In the past, the builder would have been allowed to make amendments to vehicles (such as the MIB discussions that came up). The Committee might need to get some input from the drafters with the reference to “any person”. If this can be clarified, then this would ensure that this is applied throughout the Bill.

The Chairperson requested clarity from DoT and Legal Advisors.

Adv Mongameli Kweta, State Law Advisor, had a network connection problem.

Ms Phumelele Ngema, Parliamentary Legal Adviser, referred to the definitions of “body builder” and “builder” and suggested that before answers are ventured, they would need to talk to DoT and what is currently standing in the other provisions.

Adv Johannes Makgatho, DoT Chief Director: Road Transport Regulation, agreed.

Clause 1(d) – inserted definition of “driving school”
Adv Nel pointed out that the definition for “ECE regulations” which was included after the definition of “driving school” should have been separated. If “ECE regulations” is included, then the Committee proposed amendments in the A-list should this separation.

Clause 1(e) – “embosser of number plates”, “emergency services” and “emergency vehicle”
Adv Nel said that there were some suggestions in the submissions, that these definitions in the Bill differ from definitions contained in regulations that go with the Act. In their response, DoT indicated that one of the definitions will be removed. DoT should indicate if they propose the deletion of the specific definition in the regulations or from the Bill.

Mr L Mangcu (ANC) said his view is that the definition should be in the Act instead of the regulations. He proposed that those definitions be corrected in the Act. If the definition is in the regulations, it can just be changed quickly without people noticing that it had been changed.

The Chairperson asked the Committee if they agreed with this suggestion.

Mr McDonald agreed with Mr Mangcu’s suggestion.

Adv Makgatho replied that DoT had no issue with the suggestion.

Clause 1(f) – inserted definition of “fire-fighting response vehicle”
Adv Nel said that the Committee might need clarity from DoT if this new definition seeks to actually remove the old definition. The definition in the Act for “fire-fighting vehicle” means “a motor vehicle designed or adapted solely or mainly for fighting fires and which is registered as a fire-fighting vehicle”, whereas the proposed inserted definition means “a vehicle operated by a person rendering a ‘‘service’’ as defined in section 1 of the Fire Brigade Service Act of 1987”. She requested clarity if DoT intended to see this differentiation between a ‘fire-fighting response vehicle’ versus a ‘fire-fighting vehicle’.

Adv Makgatho replied that it is an insertion that DoT is proposing.

The Chairperson asked if the insertion would replace the old definition.

Adv Makgatho read the current definition of “fire-fighting vehicle” in the principal Act, and said that it was distinct from the proposed inserted definition of “fire-fighting response vehicle” in the Bill.

Mr McDonald asked for an explanation of section 1 of the Fire Brigade Service Act, 1987, as he is a bit concerned of old Acts that come out of the Apartheid era.

The Chairperson asked Adv Nel if she could assist in responding.

Adv Nel said that she would try but she hoped that DoT would have provided more clarity. There may have be a need to have both definitions because the MIBs and body builders, in terms of the Act, may be allowed to convert vehicles for purposes of being a fire-fighting vehicle. The new definition for “emergency service” would then state that the fire-fighting response vehicle is a vehicle operated by a person rendering a service as defined, which would be the fire-fighters operating it. As she understood, there was a need to bring in the definition of “fire-fighting response vehicle”, to ensure that the emergency service operations of the vehicles and the manufacturing or building of those vehicles are covered.

Clause 1(g) – inserted definition of “incident”
Adv Nel said that the insertion of “incident” would also assist where there is reference to the emergency vehicles that are responding to such incidents.

Clause 1(h) – “inspectorate of driving Licence testing centres”, “inspectorate of driving schools”, “inspectorate of manufacturers, builders, body builders and importers”, “inspectorate of testing stations”.
Adv Nel said that these inserted definitions would link with all the new clauses further down in the Bill. These definitions refer one to the specific sections indicating how these people are appointed and by whom. It lists some of their powers and what would disqualify them from being appointed. It is cross referenced, wherever there is a testing station and where there is an issue about grading or registration of a testing station. It would include how an inspector of such a testing station would come into play.

Clause 1(i) – substituted definition of “instructor”
Adv Nel said that the old definition of “instructor” had a little bit more meat to its bones and did not just refer one to the section that deals with it. There was a concern in the submission by Ms Swanepoel that there may be a need for the definition to be expanded so that there is more clarity on instructor. Adv Nel asked if Members had input.

Mr Mangcu said that it would help knowing what the section referred to is about as it says that an instructor is a person appointed in terms of section 28B. The reference to section 28B takes one in a different direction. His preference would be to get the broadest possible definition, unless there is an explanation why the definition has been narrowed.

Adv Nel replied that the Swanepoel submission on section 28B states that there needs to be an expansion of the definition. She referred to page 19 of the Bill on Clause 33 (d), (e) and (f) which provide for the registration requirements for eligibility as an instructor. Clause 33 adds a new requirement that a person may not be registered as an instructor if convicted of any offence listed in Schedule 1 or 2 to the Criminal Procedure Act or if such person has been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is understood that “instructor” is also linked to and serves as a driving school instructor. The Swanepoel submission stated that “the definition of instructor does not define who an instructor is. Section 28B does not indicate any criteria for an instructor”. The submission referenced the current definition in the Act, which has more meat and does not simply refer one to section 28B.

Mr Mangcu said that Ms Swanepoel’s submission has been accepted by DoT.

The Committee agreed to the DoT acceptance of this submission.

Mr K Sithole (IFP) spoke but was inaudible, due to connectivity issues. Mr Sithole texted his question on the chatline which was later discussed in the meeting. Mr Sithole asked for clarity on the powers of the instructors and inspectors in terms of the Bill. He also asked what the Bill proposed about people selling number plates on the streets.

Adv Makgatho replied about people manufacturing/selling number plates on the streets, saying that there are certain standards that apply and they are trying to address this issue, because those number plates are not valid and they are not in compliance with legislation.

On the powers of the instructors and the inspectors, Adv Nel replied that this will come in later clauses where it is expanded on.

Clause 1(j) – “manufacturer of blank number plates” and “manufacturer of microdots”.
Adv Nel said that the department differentiates between a blank number plate and a number plate. She pointed out that the South African Number Plate Association (SANA) had made a submission, on the need not to use blank number plates. When the Committee gets to that section, it can be discussed in more detail. If there is a view that one must not refer to blank number plates but rather number plates, then this definition can be revisited.

Mr Mangcu said it seems DoT might have not responded to the SANA comment which makes it a bit difficult, because the Committee can have a view, but it is always nice to know DoT’s view. It may have been missed, but SANA was not responded to by DoT. It would be fair to hear DoT’s view on SANA’s submission. In his view, when one talks about a blank number plate, it is not a number plate until it is embossed. The only time when it qualifies to be a number plate is when it is embossed. Thus there cannot be a reference to a blank number plate. The Committee should get DoT’s response. The definition of “manufacturer of blank number plates” needs to be relooked at based on SANA’s submission.

Adv Makgatho replied that the input of SANA might have unwittingly been omitted. He now read that SANA proposed the inclusion of reference to the National Specification for number plates (SANS 1116), which would also contribute to the regulation of South African number plates and the number plate industry in general. DoT is amenable to this proposal as it is enhancing the regulation of number plates. If DoT were to incorporate the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) regulations, then there is a process to follow, it will only become law thereafter. He would like to believe that the standard is part and parcel of DoT regulations but DoT welcomes the SANA proposal.

The Chairperson asked if the Committee was satisfied that SANA’s proposal was welcomed.

Mr Mabhena agreed; Mr Mangcu and Mr McDonald seconded.

Adv Nel added that the “manufacturing of blank number plates” would also be discussed in clause 11 in more detail.

Clause 1(k) – inserted definition of “manufacturer of reflective sheeting”
Adv Nel said she is not sure if the SANS standard prefers the reference to normal number plates or blank number plates, but when the Committee gets to clause 11, it will get feedback clarity from DoT. If need be, consequential amendments would run throughout the Bill.

Clause 1(l) – “medical rescue vehicle”, “medical response vehicle”, “microdot” “microdot fitment centre”
Adv Nel said these insertions are similar to “fire-fighting response vehicle” as there is reference to a “medical rescue vehicle” and a “medical response vehicle”. On the “microdot” definition, the use of microdots has been around for a while but it is the first time DoT had a chance to add it to the Bill; it used to be in the regulations. All new vehicles should be fitted with microdots. The “microdot” definition includes the SANS (South African National Standards) specification. As DoT had indicated, it might add such specification to the number plate definition.

Mr McDonald asked if the Committee had not agreed that number plates should also be microdotted and if the “microdot fitment centre” definition should then also include “fit microdots on vehicles and number plates”.

Mr Mangcu said that the definition for “medical rescue vehicle” seems to be very narrow. If it is defined as such, a doctor could consider using a certain intermittent red light which would then qualify that vehicle to speed and dive past red robots. This definition states that the vehicle has to be owned by the Emergency Medical Service, but he questioned if a doctor, using a vehicle that displays the required light, would then qualify as a medical rescue vehicle.

Mr Mangcu replied about the microdots and said that it is a slightly controversial issue. He suggested that the Committee refer to the Department response on slide 11 on microdots and the submission from the Automobile Association (AA) so the Committee can recall DoT's response.

Adv Nel said that she will flag slide 11 as requested by Mr Mangcu. It is one of those situations where the definitions in the regulations differ from the proposed definitions in the Bill.

Mr Mangu quoted the Western Cape Department of Transport submission proposal that the regulations be amended to refer to ‘Department’ and not ‘MEC’ as the provinces will not be involved in the appointment of microdot manufacturers. DoT’s response was that it accepted the proposal and referred to Regulation 51A “Manufacturers of microdots to be approved” which referred to "the Department". Is it not already in that format?

Adv Nel replied that DoT indicated that it is currently as such in the regulation. She noted that a few submissions said that the reference to 'MEC' should be corrected to 'Department'. When one looks at the tabled Bill, it has been corrected due to submissions made to Department on the draft bill prior to the tabled Bill.

Mr Mangcu referred to Mr McDonald’s question on number plates being microdotted. He asked that DoT clarify when they intend to include microdots on number plates. There was a time when the Director-General had mentioned microdots on number plates, but it does not appear in the Bill. The Committee was then told that it is not part of this package now. He asked for clarity.

Adv Makgatho replied that comment permeated some of the public inputs where reference was made to a media statement. DoT response was “A motor vehicle registered for the first time in the Republic on or after 1 September 2012, shall be fitted with microdots which comply with the requirements of standard specification SANS 534-1” titled “Vehicle security – Whole of vehicle marking Part 1: Microdot systems”. It was intended for new vehicles with effect from 1 September 2012. However, it also became important that the requirement of microdotting be incorporated into the process for registration and licensing of vehicles which required SAPS VIN or chassis cabs and engine numbers. It was important that those types of vehicles be microdotted and issued with SAPS clearance certificates. It soon became clear that there are fitters who fit non compliant microdots in uncontrolled spaces and there were no checks and balances. Thus it became important that the legislation be enhanced to close these loopholes".

Mr McDonald referred to the microdotting of number plates and said that the Committee did discuss it in one of the previous meetings. Mr Mangcu was correct that it had been discussed. In one of his presentations, the Director-General said that microdotting would apply to number plates as well and that this would assist with cloning of number plates. He asked if they should include the microdotting of number plates in the definitions now, given that it is going to be done in the future; or if it is not contemplated to happen, then it can just be left out.

The Chairperson asked Adv Nel what the majority of submissions had said about the microdots.

Adv Nel replied that the comments were made by the Director-General in the initial Bill briefing to Committee on the possibility of adding microdots to number plates. The majority of the public comments were opposed to the addition of microdots to number plates. The public were not clear how the microdots would be embedded. It is also important to note that the fitment of microdots is done in a way to ensure no one knows where it is done so people cannot have easy access to remove them as they sometimes do with chassis numbers, engine numbers and VIN numbers. This the majority of the public comments were opposed to microdot inclusion, either due to cost, uncertainty on how it will be fitted or the actual function of the microdot.

The Committee agreed this matter be flagged and addressed at a later stage.

Clause 1(m) – inserted definition of “model regulations”
Adv Nel said that this is normally used for hazardous goods transporters, as they have to get permits, permissions and have extra requirements for their vehicles when they transport goods. This is linked to the purposes of the United Nations regulations.

Clause 1(n) – substituted definition of “motor vehicle”
Adv Nel said that the few additions to this definition have come from all the work DoT has done over the years. She had been part of one of the groups in Gauteng that sat on the DoT green transport policy consultations with the Gauteng Department of Transport. The new definition of “motor vehicle” seeks to introduce electric vehicles, as well as modes of green transport such as pedal cycles, which she personally hopes to see more of on the roads. There is some input from the Swanepoel submission which DoT has agreed to, especially on pedal cycles.

Clause 1(o) – inserted definition of “NaTIS officer”
Adv Nel said that the NaTIS officers are the officials who do all of the hard processing work behind the computers and who struggle with NaTIS being online and offline, almost just as much as load shedding. The NaTIS officer is referred to throughout the Bill such as the Driving Licence Testing Centre (DLTC), for the various functions that they need to do.

Mr Mangcu asked if it was NaTIS or eNaTIS. Most of the time it is referred to as eNaTIS but the Bill states NaTIS. He asked what the right word is.

Adv Nel said that she still refers to it as eNaTIS, but she is sure that DoT will give clarity.

Adv Makgatho confirmed that it is NaTIS.

Clause 1(p) – inserted definition of “Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa” (PRASA)
Adv Nel said that PRASA is inserted to ensure that where the Bill seeks to address rail reserves or rail crossings, that it is also covered. For rail collisions, there will also need to be a reference to the rail agency if it is an emergency situation where it may need to come in. PRASA also has it bus subsidiary, Autopax. She is not sure if it is intended to be that broad but its buses are on the roads.

Mr Mangcu said the definition would assist the Committee later on when talking about putting up road signs on crossings, however, it is not only PRASA that operates the rail network. Unless it is only PRASA that owns the whole network, he asked why only PRASA is defined.

Adv Makgatho replied that Mr Mangcu is correct. The definition just relates to railway crossings. As it is understood, the bulk of the railway is owned by government and not private institutions.

Mr McDonald said that he is sure that DoT would need to include Transnet under the rail definition, because Transnet owns more rail than PRASA and more railroad signs.

Adv Makgatho acknowledged this but said that the Bill as it is before the Committee, is what it is.

Adv Nel clarified that Transnet Limited is defined in the principal Act, whereas PRASA was never in the principal Act. Although, when looking at road signs on the rail network, it is uncertain if there are crossings for Gautrain services. Gautrain might be the only exclusion but they do not have the standard railway crossings that one would see for PRASA and Transnet rail reserves. However, Transnet is in the principal Act.

Clause 1(q) – substituted definition of “pedal cycle”
Adv Nel said that in the Act “pedal cycle” had a very short definition. This is one of the definitions where Western Cape Department of Transport made a submission and DoT indicated agreement. They just need to see if the Committee also agrees. She read the substituted definition for “pedal cycle” in the Bill and said that the Members could refer to the notes on her discussion on “pedal cycle” to see the proposals, if DoT was happy with those proposals, then the Legal Advisors would include it in the draft amendments.

Mr Mangcu said that he is in agreement with the proposal as it fits perfectly well. He noticed that in the principal Act in the definition of “prescribed territory” there was reference to “the Kingdom of Swaziland”. The name has since changed.

Adv Makgatho replied that they would take the opportunity to make that correction, albeit it might have not been part of the Bill.

The Committee agreed that the reference to Kingdom of Swaziland be changed to eSwatini.

The Chairperson noted that the Parliamentary Legal Adviser wanted to say something.

Ms Phumelele Ngema, Parliamentary Legal Adviser, said that the proposed amendment is not a problem but she needed to indicate that the Committee would need to check the location of the proposed amendment. If it falls in a section that was never part of the Amendment Bill, then the Committee would need to request permission from the National Assembly to amend a provision that is not part of the Bill. This is according to the National Assembly Rules.

The Chairperson agreed that it would need to be checked if that amendment falls within the Committee’s boundaries.

Clause 1(r) – inserted definition of “provincial inspectorate”
Adv Nel said that this insertion will be explained in more detail in clause 18 amending to section 11A. This is an inspectorate that is appointed by the MEC.

Clause 1(s) – substituted definition of “reserve traffic warden”
Adv Nel compared the definition in the Act to the substituted definition.

Mr Mangcu said that it appears exactly the same and asked what the difference was.

Adv Nel replied that it replaces “person” with “traffic warden” and replaces “officer” with “warden”, because there is a definition for a traffic officer.

Clause 1(t) – inserted definition of “standard”
Adv Nel noted that SABS indicated that some safety standards or testing are voluntary. In the definition there is reference to “compulsory specification” and to “specification”, but there is also compliance by SABS to the SANS, which are the ones that would normally be seen as compulsory specifications and standards. This was discussed in the Subcommittee.

Clause 1(u) – “supplier of blank number plates”, “supplier of microdots” “supplier of reflective sheeting”.
Adv Nel noted the earlier definition insertion for manufacturers and these are the suppliers.

Mr Mangcu referred to the earlier comments that the Committee had already raised about the manufacturing of blank number plates and asked if consideration of those changes would then also apply to the definitions of the supplier. He also referred to the definition of “supplier of blank number plates” and asked if the motor trade number is issued per vehicle or per business.

Mr John Motsatsing, DoT Chief Director: Road Regulation, replied that for the motor trade number, what normally happens is that the motor dealers are issued with a sequence of numbers to utilise when they intend to test motor vehicles on the public road. The motor trade number gets issued a sequence of numbers (for instance, from one to 50) by the manaufacturer and when they do the testing of vehicles, they then allocate those sequence numbers to those individual motor vehicles.

Mr Mangcu said based on the response, his view is correct that the definition should refer to the manufacturer not to the vehicle as it relates to the motor trade number, the allocation is done by those that test the vehicles. The issuance thereof is issued to a business, which is the manufacturer. However, after reading the definition again, Mr Mangcu confirmed that the definition is fine as it is.

Clause 1(v) – substituted definition of “testing station”
Adv Nel added that for the DLTC, there are new additions in the Bill, for it to read as "registered and graded". From her experience, in working with some of the Vehicle Testing Centres, those testing stations would also have to be registered plus graded. She was not sure if it is an oversight or if there is a specific need for DoT to refer only to “registered” instead of “registered and graded”. As the Bill ensures that DLTC is "registered and graded", she suggests that for consistency, the same is done for Vehicle Testing Centres.

Adv Makgatho replied that it was not an omission.

The Chairperson asked if it was not an omission, what was it?

Adv Makgatho read the substituted definition of “testing station” and the proposal by Adv Nel is that it must be read as “registered and graded” as it appeared to be an omission based on her experience. He confirmed that it is not an omission and DoT would want to keep it that way.

Mr P Mey (FF+) asked what the difference is between the DLTC and the Driver Training Centre. For instance, can a Driver Training Centre be used as a DLTC?

Adv Makgatho replied that the DLTC is an acronym for Driving Licence Testing Centre. They provide certain services depending on their grading; for instance, a Grade A DLTC provides almost everything. A driving school is ordinarily a place where someone is just taught how to drive. A DLTC offers services to apply for a learner’s licence, or renew one's driving licence and it also has its own testing centre in the yard.

Clause 1(w) – inserted definition of “weighbridge facility”.
Adv Nel said this definition has to section 5E. On the specific reference to “facility”, there are some technologies available for in-movement vehicle weighing, for instance, SANRAL uses some of those technologies outside of static weighbridge facilities. The Bill does not make a specific reference to those in-movement weighing technologies or possible portable weighbridge technologies that might be available. She questioned if the definition intended that “weighbridge facility” would cover all of those types of services.

Mr Mangcu said that that technology is mainly to screen and determine if it should then go to a properly equipped weighbridge, as defined. For instance, they would put that technology on escape routes, where people would escape and it will then try to re-divert them to the main weighbridge where they would be properly weighed. It would be the same as testing the breath of a driver before deciding to take the person for blood testing. He asked DoT if they are comfortable not legally defining screening technologies, that are mobile and can be easily be moved to detect where the offenders are, before they are diverted to the defined weighbridge. As he understands, the weighbridge as defined is the actual physical structure, but other weighbridge technologies are screeners. He asked if there is a challenge if those screeners are not defined. He also asked that Adv Nel flag the “testing station” definition so the Committee could later consider it in the context of the definition of DLTC.

Mr McDonald added that there are places in South Africa where they use a portable single axle weighing device, which they put under a vehicle's wheel, to determine the weight of the vehicle. Some clever engineers have designed it. He is in agreement with Mr Mangcu that the Committee needs to prepare to add it to the Bill. He asked if the Committee can get clarity on this.

Adv Makgatho replied that when DoT does its roadblocks and traffic law enforcement, there are mobile trucks on the side of the road. What is then normally done is to test the suspension and the breaking mechanism of the vehicle to determine its roadworthiness. With weighbridge facilities, DoT is addressing overloading on roads. The result of an overloaded truck is that there will be a diversion, where it will go to the nearest Grade A roadworthy testing station, where they would use a massive scale to determine if it has exceeded the limit it is supposed to be carrying. The mobile weighbridge facilities are mostly to determine roadworthiness, breaking mechanism and suspension. At the weighbridge facilities, mostly found on the national road, overloaded or abnormally loaded vehicles are compelled to be weighed to ensure that those vehicles do not damage infrastructure.

Mr McDonald said that the device that he alluded to is a weighing device. It is a single axle scale, that can determine the weight of a vehicle by only weighing one of the axles that they can use next to the road, where there are no weighbridge facilities.

The Chairperson asked if there is agreement that the definition of “weighbridge facility” is correct.

Adv Nel replied that if the intention is to specifically focus only on the static weighbridge facility then, the definition is correct. However, the question is if there is a need to include a definition for portable and single-axle measurement devices.

The Chairperson said he thinks there is an agreement from Members on its inclusion.

Clause 2- Amendment of section 3A
Adv Nel noted technical amendments where the word “and” is deleted or where commas are removed and replaced with a semicolon. There is also the addition of NaTIS officer.

The Chairperson said that there is no opposition to those amendments.

Clause 3 – Amendment of section 3B
Adv Nel said that these amendments include the addition of the newly defined NaTIS officer and traffic warden.

Clause 4 – Amendment of section 3C
Adv Nel notes that the amendment provides that no person shall be registered or remain registered as an examiner of vehicles, traffic officer, traffic warden and NaTIS officer, if such person or his or her spouse has or acquires a direct or indirect financial interest in the manufacturing, selling, rebuilding, repairing or modifying of motor vehicles.

Mr Sithole rejoined after load shedding. He asked why it referred to both a spouse and a partner.

The Chairperson replied that it does not say “spouse and partner” but states “spouse or partner”.

Clause 5 – Amendment of section 3D
Adv Nel said that the amendment includes the newly defined “traffic warden”. DoT also proposes the use of “qualification” instead of “diploma”.

Mr Mangcu recommended that these amendments include the NaTIS officer.

Mr McDonald seconded this.

Clause 6 - Amendment of section 3E
Adv Nel said that the amendments provide for the suspension or cancellation of the registration of an examiner for driving licences or an examiner of vehicles, if such person was convicted for a crime as contemplated in Schedule 1 or 2 to the Criminal Procedure Act or if such person has a direct or indirect financial interest in the transport services business or motor vehicle business. However, in these additions there is no reference to a "spouse or partner" having such financial interests. The Committee should check with DoT if the previous clause would cover that, or if there is a need to include such reference here.

Mr McDonald said that there are many references to the word “may”, he wonders if those should not be amendment to “must” in some of the instances. For example it states that a “chief executive officer may for the period that he or she deems fit and in the manner prescribed, suspend or cancel the registration of a traffic officer…”, where in legal terms “may” is not such a good word, it should rather be "shall" or “must”. He is worried if such wording is correct.

Mr Mangcu agreed that there is a lot of use of “may”. For example, ‘‘The inspectorate of driving licence testing centres or the inspectorate of testing stations, respectively, may for the period that it deems fit and in the manner prescribed, suspend or cancel the registration…”. He is concerned that an inspectorate has such authority and proposed that it should rather be the person who appointed the examiner for driving licences or examiner of vehicles. Such authority should rather rest with the chief executive officer or other authority.

Adv Makgatho replied that the DLTC inspectorates are DoT officials. They ordinarily do inspections as part of their duties. The inspectorates comply with Department legislation in its entirety, specifically the National Road Traffic Act and its regulations. Where they find something undesirable about the examiner, the inspectorate will do an inspection report. That inspection report goes to the provincial office who will then consider the report and issue a notice, that is termed a TS4, informing the examiner to provide written reasons why DoT should not suspend him/her for non-compliance or contravention committed. That person would then provide a submission explaining why they did what they did as an employer. The Province will then consider the submission and apply itself by perhaps issuing a TS5, which is an official suspension. Thus the inspectorate simply does the report and then it goes to other authorities.

The Chairperson asked about the use of the word “may”.

Adv Makgatho replied that “may” suggests that it is an opportunity for the person to make their case and then having determined the facts presented, a decision will be made whether one should or should not.

Mr Mey said that that is exactly what happened in Albertina, where they ignored the instructions of the inspectorate and the manager in Albertina, decided himself, to close the DLTC.

Ms Ngema said that the other “may” that appears in subsection (2) with regards to the chief executive officer, is a “may” that provides the discretion that is necessary. For example, where the officer would decide the period that should fit the transgression or whatever it is that needs to be sorted. This “may” means it is not compulsory to comply, but rather allows the chief executive office the authority to consider each circumstance and decide what is suitable.

Mr Mangcu appreciated the response from Adv Makgatho, but section 3E states that it is the inspectorate who suspends or cancels the registration of an examiner. He still holds the same view that the inspectorate should not have that authority. He is rather in support of the chief executive officer, MEC or whoever it is, that is responsible for the testing station.

The Chairperson said that it should not appear as if it is the inspectorate that has the authority to suspend and cancel the registration of an examiner. Clarity has been given on the use of “may”. For this meeting, the Committee will end at clause 6 (e), line 55.
He told Adv Makgatho and the legal team that the Committee does appreciate they have been holding the fort on the Director-General’s behalf, but they should inform the Director-General that the Committee would appreciate if he attends the Committee meetings when he is available.

Adv Makgatho asked if the team will be invited to the Committee meeting again, considering that they have not yet completed the deliberations on the Bill.

The Chairperson said that Adv Makgatho and the legal team will definitely be invited again. The Committee has no intention of continuing the deliberations without them.

Third Term Draft Committee Programme
Ms Carlese presented the draft programme for the third parliamentary term, 17 August – 15 October 2021. It has been confirmed that the Parliamentary Programme for the third term is extended by another two weeks, until 15 October 2021. There is still a constituency period for four weeks from 6 September – 4 October 2021.

The focus for the term is on matters that the Committee has to report to the House which are: legislation, the Public Protector Report and the quarterly expenditure. These matters always have to be prioritised because the House has to consider the Committee’s reports.

Tuesday, 17 August 2021 (09:00 – 13:00), Agenda:
- Deliberations on the Economic Regulation of Transport Bill [B1 – 2020]
- Consideration of the draft report on the 2020/21 fourth quarter expenditure of the DoT
- Consideration of the draft subcommittee report on the Public Protector Report No. 37 of 2018/19

Wednesday, 18 August 2021 (09:00 – 13:00), Agenda:
- Deliberations on the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill [B7 – 2020]

Friday, 20 August 2021 (09:00 – 13:00), Agenda:
- Deliberations on the Economic Regulation of Transport Bill [B1 – 2020]

Tuesday, 24 August 2021 (09:00 – 13:00), Agenda:
- Clause-by-clause deliberations on the Economic Regulation of Transport Bill [B1 – 2020]

Wednesday, 25 August 2021 (09:00 – 13:00), Agenda:
- Final deliberations on the Economic Regulation of Transport Bill [B1 – 2020]
- Briefing on the Transport Appeal Tribunal Bill [B8 – 2020] –the Committee will publish the Bill over the constituency period for comments.
- Motion of desirability on the Transport Appeal Tribunal Bill

Suggested date for overnight visit to Mpumalanga on Moloto Rail: 27 & 28 August (subject to political approval) – oversight visits during this period might not be approved because it is a short term, this was confirmed by a letter from Mr C Frolick to Committee Chairperson’s. Oversight visits will not be permitted in the third term.

Tuesday, 31 August 2021 (09:00 – 13:00), Agenda:
- Deliberations on Economic Regulation of Transport Bill & adoption of Committee report on the Bill
- Briefing by the DoT on its 2021/22 first quarter expenditure

Wednesday, 1 September 2021 (09:00 – 13:00), Agenda:
- Deliberations on the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill [B7 – 2020]
- Briefing on the Railway Safety Bill [B7 – 2021]
- Motion of desirability on Railway Safety Bill – publish in constituency break for public comments
- Consideration of draft Committee programme for fourth term

Friday, 3 September 2021 (09:00 – 13:00), Agenda:
- Deliberations on the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill [B7 – 2020]

Constituency Period: 6 September – 4 October 2021 (4 weeks).

Processing of Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR): 5 – 15 October 2021.

Meetings with the DoT & Entities on their 2020/21 Annual Reports

Tuesday, 5 October 2021 (09:00 – 18:00), Agenda:
- Briefing by Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA) on 2020/21 Annual Report of the DoT
- Briefing by DoT on its 2020/21 Annual Report
- Briefing by the entities of DoT on its 2020/21 Annual Report (RSR, PRASA)

Wednesday, 6 October 2021 (09:00 – 16:00), Agenda:
- Briefing by DoT entities on 2020/21 Annual Reports (ATNS, ACSA, SACAA, SANRAL)

Thursday, 7 October 2021 (09:00 – 16:00), Agenda:
- Briefing by DoT entities on 2020/21 Annual Reports (RTIA, RTMC, C-BRTA, RAF)
*(tbc subject to scheduling of Party Caucus)

Friday, 8 October 2021 (09:00 – 13:00), Agenda:
- Briefing by the entities of the DoT on their 2020/21 Annual Reports (PRSA, SAMSA)

Tuesday,12 October 2021 (09:00 – 13:00), Agenda:
- Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report: Finalisation of recommendations

Wednesday, 13 October 2021 (09:00 – 11:00)
- Consideration and adoption of Committee’s BRRR (11:00 – 16:00)
- Deliberations on the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill [B7 – 2020]

Thursday, 14 October 2021 (09:00 – 13:00)
- Deliberations on National Road Traffic Amendment Bill [B7 – 2020]
*(tbc subject to scheduling of Party Caucus)

Friday, 15 October 2021 (09:00 – 13:00)
- Deliberations on the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill [B7 – 2020]

Constituency Period: 16 October 2021 – 1 November 2021 (2 weeks)

Discussion on Programme
The Chairperson said that the draft programme is a living document, subject to change. The scheduling with entities that the Committee wants to meet with will be determined at a later date.

Mr Mabhena referred to the oversight visit of 27/28 August and the letter to the Chairperson that oversight visits would not be permitted in the third term. He asked if it was logical for the Committee to schedule the oversight visit. He understands that there must be a blanket approach – no oversight visits permitted – as per House Chairperson Frolick's letter. He requested the letter and suggested that the Committee Chairperson converse with Mr Frolick to perhaps come to a conclusion where they can find each other. The Committee has been shifting the Moloto goalpost far too long. Initially, the oversight visit was in March, it has since been shifted. If the date keeps on being shifted, his biggest fear is that the Committee would have not fulfilled what it planned to fulfill. He does not have an issue with the rest of the programme. The only challenge is the week that the Committee would have to meet for the whole day. Perhaps at some point, that will be revisited, since it is a living document. On the entities the Committee plans to meet, he asked if the Committee could prioritise DLTC and meet with them.

Mr Mangcu suggested that the document should be accepted as it is, because it is a living document. He endorses it in its current form, although the biggest risk is the assumption that there will not be Thursday caucuses. He does not see political parties not holding their caucuses on those Thursdays. If it is not the leading party’s caucus then it will be the Women’s Caucus. He suspects that this will reduce the time available. If that does happen, then the Secretariat would look at what the Committee’s possibilities are then.

The Chairperson asked the Committee Secretary to forward the email from the House Chairperson to Members.

The Committee adopted the 1 June minutes.

Closing remarks
The Chairperson noted this was the last Committee meeting for the second term until 17 August. The Committee should forge ahead with the unity they have had and go out of their way to address concerns brought to them by individual Members.

The Secretary asked if the Chairperson planned to address the Road Accident Fund claimant complaint in August.

The Chairperson suggested that the Secretary share the letter with Members and the Committee would deal with it when they return, so that all Members had the opportunity to peruse it. He thanked the Committee for their commitment and the way that they have trampled on each other’s toes, which should not be taken in a bad spirit, every committee does so at some point. Overall, the Committee has been doing very well together and he is sure that they will continue to do so. He is always available during the constituency period if they want to engage on any matter.

Meeting adjourned.


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