AARTO traffic rules

Phase two of the AARTO traffic rules rollout has been postponed indefinitely. Here’s why. Image: File

The REAL reason why AARTO traffic rules have not gone ahead

Another deadline for controversial new AARTO traffic rules has been missed. And, as is so often the case, the real reason why is money.

AARTO traffic rules

Phase two of the AARTO traffic rules rollout has been postponed indefinitely. Here’s why. Image: File

Controversial AARTO traffic rules featuring a points demerit system were supposed to go live on 1 February 2024. However, the deadline for its phased rollout has come and gone with zero implementation. So, where does this leave South African motorists, and what’s the reason behind the hold-up?

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Several key structures behind the new AARTO traffic rules remain unresolved. These include setting up a system to manage appeals. And, embarrassingly, the much-talked-about implementation day for the AARTO traffic rules has not even been gazetted yet. However, there’s more to it than simple bureaucracy.


Phase two of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act has been postponed indefinitely. Image: File

Unsurprisingly, the missed deadline for new AARTO traffic rules comes down to money. According to Business Tech, the second phase of the rollout is delayed because municipalities have cottoned onto the cost and complexity of implementing such a system.

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Moreover, implementation will see local traffic services lose millions in revenue. And some may even have to shut down. Various municipalities have raised concerns about the new AARTO traffic rules, saying it will lead to revenue losses. Municipalities generate good income from traffic enforcement. But with the new plan in place, local governments will need other ways of generating money.


Municipalities will have to find roughly R5 million to fill the gap of lost traffic-fine income under AARTO. Image: File

Furthermore, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) noted as much as 50% of traffic-fine revenue will be diverted from municipalities to the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) administering the new AARTO traffic rules.

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Allegedly, AARTO will have a detrimental effect on municipal finances, including administrative complexities and recovery of money owed. By law, local municipalities must handle all costs of notices sent to alleged infringers. All AARTO traffic fines have to be paid to the RTIA. And there is no guarantee on payback time frames.


AARTO traffic rules
Municipalities are fighting back against AARTO. Image: File

Furthermore, with camera fines, these are loaded on RTIA software. Notices are issued via the post office at R32 each. If the fine is not paid within 32 days, all funds go to the RTIA, and nothing gets paid back to the issuing municipality. As a result, a loss of revenue from provincial traffic fines could amount to R7 million annually. “And many municipalities do not currently have the revenue base to absorb the revenue loss,” concluded OUTA.

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