The National Taxi Alliance (NTA) has stated it will not follow South Africa’s new road laws, which form part of the Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act.
This is according to a report by The Star, which spoke to NTA spokesperson Theo Malele.
Aarto is due to come into effect on 1 July, and brings several changes to driving rules in the country.
In the report, Malele said the taxi industry “would not comply with the new law”, and that the demerit system which forms part of Aarto would be a disaster for taxi owners.
Malele said this is because taxi owners could lose their driver’s licences for offences committed by their employed drivers.
Under Aarto, drivers will be given demerit points when they break traffic rules – with a set amount of demerit points allocated depending on the severity of the offence.
If they commit multiple offences in a set period of time, they can have their driver’s licence suspended.
A breakdown of the licence suspension conditions is below:
- Total points: A maximum of 15 demerit points can be received by a driver. After this, they will be disqualified from driving their vehicle.
- Duration: The duration of the disqualification will equal three months for every point over the 15-point limit.
Compounding matters is that a well-defined timeline for the roll-out of Aarto has not been provided by the Department of Transport and the Road Traffic Infringement Agency.
While “stage 1” is set to roll out from 1 July, the finer details of the plan are to be announced at a later date.
According to a report by MyBroadband, Aarto will be rolled out in multiple phases – with each lasting around three months.
Transport Director-General Alec Moemi said that the first phase of the Aarto roll-out will consist of “setting up the registry and other requirements”.
The report stated that as of May, it had also not been decided how the demerit points system for local drivers will be phased in.
The NTA is not the only organisation which has raised concerns about the Aarto roll-out.
The AA and Outa have stated there are several problems with the lack of details about the roll-out plan.
The City of Cape Town has also stated it was considering its options to challenge the implementation of Aarto.