AfriForum criticises Road Traffic Management Corporation Regulations

The civil rights organisation AfriForum today submitted a written submission to the Department of Transport criticising the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) Regulations 2007. The Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula published a draft amendment to the RTMC 2007 in the Government Gazette (no 45085) of 3 September 2021. The public was invited to comment on this draft amendment by no later than 2 October 2021.

In summary, the draft amendment relates among others to the fees payable for services that are provided via the National Traffic Information System (NaTIS). The draft amendment increases the fee of certain transactions and introduces new additional fees for the renewal of a driver’s licence. The proposed fees that were published in the Government Gazette includes a charge for motorists of R250 for online bookings to renew their driver’s licence, as well as R700 for either the online registration of motor vehicles or for online change of ownership of motor vehicles. These fees are in addition to the transaction fee of R72 for every transaction performed, as well as R99 for the delivery of the driving licence card.

AfriForum has four major issues with the proposed amendment which are outlined in our comment:

1. Confusion about the booking fee

2. Affordability

3. NaTIS system failures

4. Vague regulations

AfriForum calls on the Minister of Transport to reconsider the proposed amendment and to formulate the amendments to reflect the true position. Furthermore, no amendment would be reasonable and fair if it had the effect that the public would pay for a service that cannot be delivered effectively. If a person is expected to pay for a service in advance, there should be a guarantee that the provider would be able to render this service.

“It is quite obvious that it would be absurd to expect people to pay almost R500 every five years for the renewal of their driver’s licence towards a system that does not function effectively. Moreover, the public is once again expected to stand in for difficulties that arise as a result of corruption when, in any event, they drive around with expired licences for months while the licencing office is trying to wipe out its backlog,” says Jacques Broodryk, Campaigns Manager at AfriForum.

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