The High Court in Pretoria has declared that South Africa’s Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act and the Aarto Amendment Act are unconstitutional and invalid.
This comes after Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) approached the court and challenged the validity of the act in October 2021 to declare both the main Act and the amendment Act unconstitutional.
In her ruling, Judge Annali Basson stood in favour of Outa and declared the act invalid: “It, therefore, follows in my view that the Aarto Act and the Amendment Act must be declared to be inconsistent with the Constitution in its entirety. It is therefore declared that the Aarto Act and the Amendment Acts are unconstitutional and invalid”.
Outa’s executive director of accountability and governance Stefanie Fick said: “We are satisfied that the judgment will be sending government back to the drawing board. This time around, we trust the relevant departments will engage meaningfully with civil society to obtain our input when developing such important policies for the country. South Africa needs effective processes enabled by fair adjudication that complies with the Constitution.”
Court outcomes on the Constitutionality of AARTO Act. pic.twitter.com/6UAd72msVT
— Road Traffic Management Corporation (@TrafficRTMC) January 13, 2022
The Aarto act outlines that drivers can be penalised for speeding, ignoring road signs and running red lights and the Transport Department implemented phase one of the system in July 2021.