A new National Road Traffic Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament on May 29, and proposes that a number of changes be made to South Africa’s transport industry.
One of the changes includes the total prohibition of the consumption and use of alcohol by those who are professional motor vehicle operators.
Currently, the National Road Traffic Act allows those who consume alcohol to get behind the wheel if they are below the blood alcohol limit.
The new National Road Traffic Amendment Act deletes this reference completely and also distinguishes between normal drivers and those who are professional motor vehicle operators.
For normal drivers, the concentration of alcohol must be under 0.05g per 100ml. For professional drivers, this is under 0.02g per 100ml.
Initially, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula planned to introduce the 0% legal alcohol limit in February of 2020. The new restriction will work in conjunction with the new Aarto Act, which introduces a demerit system for drivers. If a driver accumulates enough traffic fines, they can be temporarily banned from driving by having their licenses revoked.
The bill is currently under a consultation process by the National Assembly, as well as the National Council of Provinces.If it is approved, it will be signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa.