The Johannesburg and Tshwane metro police departments have not issued any traffic fines for speed infringements caught on camera in more than three months.
That is according to two firms who administer traffic fines for over 500 companies with vehicle fleets active throughout Gauteng.
The firms told Rapport that the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) and Tshwane Metro Police Department (TPMD) had not loaded any camera fines for speed infringements on the National Traffic Information Systems (Natis) since 1 July.
One of the firms said only a few handwritten fines had been loaded and questioned whether all of the outstanding fines could be processed and loaded simultaneously at one point.
However, civil action group Outa has warned that a fine notice must be issued to the infringer within 40 days of the infringement.
Failure to do so means the authorities no longer have the right to collect payments of these fines, which could cost the municipalities millions.
The Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) confirmed to Rapport that there had been a worryingly sharp decline in the number of fines loaded by JMPD and TMPD over the last few months.
RTIA spokesperson Monde Mkalipi blamed the problems in Johannesburg on the expiration of a contract with Syntell, the traffic service provider who previously loaded the fines onto Natis.
Rapport said it was also responsible for providing the speed cameras and vehicles which maintained them.
The contract concluded at the end of June, and with no new service provider appointed, JMPD personnel are now loading the fines themselves.
It was not clear what was behind the backlog in Tshwane, as it does not use Syntell.
Johannesburg and Tshwane are currently the only municipalities in which the new driving infringement system known as the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act is already in effect.
Government delayed the implementation of the system by a year, and it is currently being rolled out nationally in a phased manner to come into effect on 1 July 2022.
It sees significant changes in how traffic infringement and offences are handled and includes a points demerit system that can suspend motorists’ licences once a certain threshold is reached.
Phase 1, which ran from 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021, included enabling eNatis to collect Aarto payments, establishing Aarto service outlets, and a communications campaign.
Phase 2 started in October and will include introducing the electronic service of documents like traffic infringements.
It will allow motorists to opt to receive traffic fines in three ways:
- Through the standard postal method;
- Via SMS or other mobile messaging services; and
- Online, including an option to receive traffic fines through email.
Motorists will still get a 50% discount on the fine if they respond and pay within 32 days, but they are also allowed to dispute fines well beyond that time frame.
They will also have the option to pay fines in instalments.
Aarto will only come into effect once President Ramaphosa has made an official proclamation in the government gazette.
The table below outlines the phased rollout’s timeline.
|Phase||Dates||Aarto functions to be implemented|
|Phase 1||1 July 2021 – 30 September 2021||
|Phase 2||1 October 2021 – 31 December 2021||
|Phase 3||1 January 2022 – 30 June 2022||
|Phase 4||1 July 2022||