Justice Project South Africa (NPC) has today dispatched its comments and inputs on the proposed amendments to the National Road Traffic Regulations published in Government Gazette No. 38997 of Friday 17 July, 2015.
In compliance with JPSA's policies on transparency and keeping its members and the general public at large informed of what it is doing, we publish herewith the contents of that document.
Phillip Magagane and John Motsatsing
Department of Transport
Private Bag X193
PER EMAIL TO: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Ref: PUBLICATION OF THE NATIONAL ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATIONS FOR COMMENTS
Our Ref: GG 38997 Comments
Friday, 14 August
PUBLICATION OF THE NATIONAL ROAD TRAFFIC
REGULATIONS FOR COMMENTS
We refer to the proposed amendments to the National
Road Traffic Regulations tabled in Notice No. R. 607 of 2015 in Government
Gazette No. 38997 of Friday 17 July, 2015.
Project South Africa hereby submits the following comments and inputs on the
proposed amendments contained in the aforementioned notice for your consideration.
of regulation 25 of the National Road Traffic Regulations
2.1. We refer
to our letter of Monday 27 July 2015 to the Department of Transport wherein inter alia we drew your attention to the
fact that paragraph 3 of Notice No. R. 607 of 2015 in Government Gazette No.
38997 of Friday 17 July, 2015 made references to non-existent regulations under the SANRAL Act.
confirm that on 28 July 2015, Mr John Motsatsing responded to us by email,
wherein inter alia he confirmed that
the “e-road regulations 2015” do not exist and that a correction gazette
deleting paragraph 3 of Notice No. R. 607 of 2015 in Government Gazette No.
38997 would be issued.
place on record that as of even date, which is additionally the closing date
for public comment, NO SUCH CORRECTION
GAZETTE HAS APPARENTLY BEEN PUBLISHED.
further place on record that due to the “erroneous” nature of paragraph 3 of Notice
No. R. 607 of 2015 in Government Gazette No. 38997 and Mr Motsatsing’s subsequent
acknowledgement thereof and assertions thereon, Justice Project South Africa is
NOT making any further comment with
respect to paragraph 3 thereof, specifically with respect to the proposal to
grant SANRAL the ability to place administrative blocks on the NaTIS system proposing
withholding the issue of licence discs on the basis of outstanding e-tolls.
trust that the Minister and/or Department of Transport will not attempt to
promulgate any amendments to regulation 25 of the National Road Traffic
Regulations in pursuance of the ab initio
void nature of paragraph 3 of Notice No. R. 607 of 2015 in Government Gazette No.
again reiterate that if/when the Minister, Department of Transport and/or the
South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited does decide to publish such
proposed amendments for comment, JPSA will most certainly be strenuously
opposing any such proposed amendments.
of regulation 32A of the Regulations
(4) reads as follows:
“A NaTIS user whose information is
correct on the NaTIS and who is not required to complete form NCP as
contemplated in subregulation (3) may comply with the requirements of
subregulation (1A) by updating his or her details on-line by accessing the
website of the Department and providing the required information by confirming
the required information, and electronically submitting the documents contemplated
in subregulation (5) in the manner indicated on the website.”
In light of the fact that the Department of
Transport’s current website provides no such facility, we trust that if/when
such a facility is made available, the Department will make it easy and user
friendly for “users” to find, navigate to and interact with such a facility.
We also trust that the Department of
Transport has thought about and implemented practical measures to ensure that
online security and compliance with the POPI Act are in place prior to the
implementation of this facility.
said, JPSA is in favour of adopting online services to assist members of the
public instead of forcing them to endure what are often unpleasant interactions
with licensing authorities and hopes that other online services will soon be
made available by the Department of Transport.
(5)(c) provides preferential treatment of persons who reside in informal
settlements and/or rural areas which are not available to persons who do not.
It reads as follows:
“a NaTIS user who resides at an informal
settlement or a rural area, a letter with an official date stamp that is not
older than three months from the ward councillor or local tribal authority
confirming the postal and residential address of such NaTIS user or an
affidavit confirming proof of residential address.”
Whilst we are sensitive to the fact that
informal settlements present a challenge insofar as they generally do not have
utilities provided by a local authority or State institution and must therefore
be catered for in a practical manner, the notion that an affidavit from a
political representative like a ward councillor should only be available to
such persons deviates from Section 9(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of
South Africa, 1996 which holds that “Everyone
is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of
It is our assertion that the provisions of
subregulation 5(c) should either be available to all persons or to none at all
since it is unlikely to withstand constitutional muster in its current proposed
Insertion of regulation 32B in the
4.1. Subregulation (2) states:
“In the case where the Director-General
(a) that the particulars of the NaTIS user as contemplated in subregulation (1)
differ in any of the databases contemplated in subregulation (1);
(b) that such particulars were recorded after the date the address on the
NaTIS was recorded, he or she must request the NaTIS user by sending a notice
to the contact address recorded on the NaTIS and the contact address obtained
from the database contemplated in subregulation (1), of the fact that the
information on NaTIS and on the other data base differs and inform such user
that he or she must update the details on such system within 21 days from the
date of the notice, and that if such person fails to do so the Director-General
will act in terms of paragraph (c); and;
(c) If the NaTIS user fails to comply with the requirements of the notice
contemplated in subregulation (2), the Director-General may update the NaTIS
with the address contemplated in subregulation (1) and such address shall be
used for the delivery of all documents and notices in terms of the Act and any
notice or summons in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act No. 51 of
1977), the South African National Roads Agency Limited and National Roads Act,
1998 (Act No. 7 of 1998) or the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic
Offences Act, 1998 (Act No. 46 of 1998).”
We note that subregulation (2)(b) makes no
reference to the method by which the Director-General must serve such a
notification and appears to completely disregard all practical, real world
issues surrounding the services of the South African Post Office.
We further note that subregulation (2)(b)
uses the term “sending a notice” as
opposed to “serving a notice” which would be covered by Section 87 of the
National Road Traffic Act, No 93 of 1996.
Albeit that the practicalities of the
appallingly bad levels of service being provided by the State run South African
Post Office makes a mockery of both, Section 87(2) of the National Road Traffic
Act, No 93 of 1996 and Section 30(2) of the Administrative Adjudication of Road
Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act, 46 of 1998, it is our assertion that such an
important notification should be served on the “user” as opposed to simply being dispatched by some undefined
means with no tracking facility associated with it.
We would further recommend that an SMS be
dispatched to the “user” in question calling upon them to comply with their
obligations under the National Road Traffic Regulations to keep their address
details current on the NaTIS system.
Funding for these requirements could easily
be found in the R36.00 transaction fee charged on all NaTIS transactions, the
purpose of which has not previously been explained and/or justified to be
anything other than a stealth tax.
We wish to warn the Department of Transport
that address details contained in credit bureau databases can be as misleading
as details contained in the NaTIS registry.
This is due to the fact that people typically
do not enter into credit agreements on a daily or monthly basis and some don’t
enter into them at all. It would therefore be somewhat reckless to simply
assume that address details contained in credit bureau databases are correct.
It is noteworthy however to point out that
SANRAL is included in the agencies which are set to benefit from the
promulgation of a provision that includes making use of facilities prescribed
under the National Credit Act, while SANRAL is specifically exempted from the
provisions of that Act. In our view, its exclusion from having to comply with
the provisions of the National Credit Act should equally exclude it from
benefiting from its provisions, but we do realise that it the proposed
amendments are applicable to the Department of Transport and not SANRAL directly.
We note that regulation 32B repeatedly refers
to an undefined entity called a “NaTIS user”.
The only reference to such an entity called a
anywhere in the National Road Traffic Act and Regulations appears under
regulation 1D of the National Road Traffic Regulations which deals with the “manner of application for registration as a
This implies that persons whose details are recorded
in the NaTIS registry as vehicle owners, operators, licence holders, etc. are NOT in fact “users” of the NaTIS registry and therefore it is NOT their details which may be updated
in any way by the proposed amendments.
All of this said JPSA has no
fundamental problem with the NaTIS system being cleansed and people’s details
being brought up to date, since it will benefit the Department as well as
individuals who are currently prejudiced by the laziness and/or gross
inefficiencies of licensing authorities who take little care in assuring that
motorists’ details are up to date. We therefore support it, so long as it is
done in a responsible manner.
We trust that our inputs will be carefully
considered prior to promulgating any such amendments.
Justice Project South Africa (NPC)