31 October 2017 - NW3209
Madisha, Mr WM to ask the Minister of Transport
How does he justify the 72% increase in the vehicle renewal transaction fee that he has determined to be paid to the Road Traffic Management Corporation in the 2017-18 financial year in terms of Regulation 3 of the Road Traffic Management Regulations?
The Road Traffic Management Corporation was established by the Act of Parliament, the RTMC Act 20 of 1999. At the establishment phase it was conceptualised that the Corporation will be funded in line with provisions of Section 24 (1) of the Act which provides for and prescribes the sources of funding. The Corporation is funded in the following manner:
- Monies prescribed, subject to section 48 (1)(b) which must include transaction fees charged by the Corporation for the sale of services;
- Penalties and fines payable to the Corporation as an issuing authority in terms of section 32 of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act, 1998 (Act No. 46 of 1988);
- Interest on invested cash balances and
- Monies appropriated by Parliament.
Transaction fees were introduced in terms of the RTMC Act and approved by then Finance Minister Trevor Manuel in 2007 for the operation and maintenance of NATIS. At the introduction phase the fees were introduced at R30 and they were to increase by R6 annually.
Since the initial phase the fees were only revised by R6 in 2009 as per the provisions of Section 48 of the RTMC Act. This revision brought into effect the First Amendment of the Regulations in the Government Gazette No. 930 of 23 September 2009. The significance of the regulation amendment, was that the Regulations was amended to provide that the Minister of Transport, may henceforth, increase the Transaction Fee amount annually by Notice in the Government Gazette and in the process repealed the previous 5-year fee structure.
Subsequently there were no revisions and or increases of the transactional fees due to the impasse that related to the legal battles and other administrative challenges amongst others and the transaction fees remained R36 from 2009 to 2016.
Post the challenging period articulated above the transactional fees were only increased to R42 in January 2016, the same amount it should have been in 2010.
The current increase of R30 falls far below the required thresh-hold of required increase which should have been at R96,00 as per the then approval by the Minister of Transport. Mindful of the affordability test it become prudent that the increase be R30,00 as opposed to the once off R54, 00 increases.
The design of the NATIS has remained constant over the years and the system was never upgraded and no improvements were ever made. The current environment requires a complete overhaul and upgrading of the e-Natis and we are required by the provisions of the enabling legislation that the maintenance of the system should be done in line with the Act. The Act provides that the Corporation should ensure that phase out, where appropriate, public funding and phase in private sector investment in road traffic on a competitive basis; securing, where appropriate, full cost recovery based on the user-pays principle and introduce commercial management principles to inform and guide road traffic governance and decision-making in the interest of enhanced service provision
There is an urgent need to upgrade the architecture of the NATIS to make it more supportive to the current needs of users and registering authorities. The non-implementation of the annual increase has made the Corporation to lose the revenue of R2billion and this caring government deemed it prudent not to burden the public and not applied the increase retrospectively.