The new “infringement penalty levy” of R100 which is payable on every infringement committed is a “stealth tax” which is charged for something that should be free.
This is the view of Automobile Association (AA) of South Africa spokesperson Layton Beard, who discussed this levy with eNCA.
This new “infringement penalty levy” was first introduced in the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act signed into law in August 2019.
It rose to prominence again after it was included in the recently published information related to the AARTO regulations.
This document, which transport minister Fikile Mbalula gazetted this month, states:
The penalty levy contemplated in regulation 36 is payable on every infringement committed and followed up by all the processes prescribed in the Act. This levy shall not be subjected to a discount referred to in column 4 below.
Beard and the AA are not impressed, saying it is merely a money-making scheme which is set to generate billions for the state.
“The new infringement penalty levy is intended to generate money for a function which should be provided in the normal cause of events,” said Beard.
He said when you are issued a ticket, the fine amount on that ticket should be the amount that you pay.
What will happen in future, however, is that you will pay an additional R100 just to be issued with that fine.
Beard likened the new penalty levy to having to pay every time to submit a tax return, saying it is unconscionable and neither fair nor just.
“We as the AA are concerned about that. When you consider the number of fines which are likely to be issued, you are talking about revenue collection in the billions,” he said.
Another bone of contention is whether the R100 infringement penalty levy will be returned if the fine is successfully contested.
“Our view is that the law at the moment is a little fuzzy around this,” said Beard, adding that the R100 will most likely still be payable.
He added that while the intention behind Aarto was to promote road safety, it has now morphed into a revenue generation tool.
“We believe Aarto is now a mechanism to generate funds rather than promote road safety,” Beard said.