– Further to our media release of Monday 27 July, 2015, Justice Project South
Africa is delighted to confirm that we have just received a response to our
letter addressed to Messrs Phillip Magagane and John Motsatsing of the National
Department of Transport.
his response to us, Mr Motsatsing has confirmed that “On further consultation with SANRAL it was confirmed that the 2015
regulations have not yet been published and are still being finalised. The
Department will do the necessary correction notice that exclude regulation 25
as contained in the regulation published for comments.”
put, this means that paragraph 2 of
Notice No. R. 607 in government
gazette 38997, published
for comments on Friday 17 July, 2015 may be completely disregarded by members
of the public wishing to submit any comments on the proposed amendments to the
National Road Traffic Regulations. It also means that withholding the
issue of licence discs on the basis of outstanding e-tolls will not be lawful for the immediately
remaining paragraphs (3 and 4) remain open for public comment before 14 August
2015. The correction gazette promised by Mr Motsatsing will facilitate this.
is both appalling and alarming that such an ‘error’ should have crept into
proposed amendments to legislation, particularly when such draconian measures
as withholding licence discs is proposed,” said JPSA Chairperson, Howard
Dembovsky. “One would hope that legislators would pay proper attention to
detail and to abiding by legislative requirements and the Constitution,” he
When the Department of Transport publishes
amendments to the e-road regulations, seeking to facilitate withholding the
issue of licence disks for public comment, JPSA will do as it has said it will
do and will vigorously oppose any such proposals.
A copy of Mr Motsatsing’s
email appears below.
JOHANNESBURG – It is with some alarm and disbelief that Justice Project
South Africa takes note of the fact that the Department of Transport has
published proposed amendments to the National Road Traffic Regulations in order
to cater for withholding the issue of licence discs on the basis of outstanding
e-tolls. We were alerted to this after reading an article that appeared on the Independent Online website.
Notice No. R. 607 in government
gazette 38997, published for
comments on Friday 17 July, 2015 refers to “regulation 11 of the e-Road
Regulations, 2015” which we have been unable to find anywhere.
The proposed insertion under regulation 25 of the National
Road Traffic Regulations reads as follows and seeks to insert a further
circumstance under which a licence disc may be withheld and appears to attempt
to insert it into subregulation (1) instead of subregulation (7) where it would
belong if it were valid:
25 of the Regulations is hereby amended by the addition of the following
paragraph after paragraph (h) of subregulation (1): (i) the owner of which has
failed to comply with the requirements of the e-Road Regulations, 2015
published under section 58(1)(dA) and (dC) of the South African National Roads
Agency Limited and National Roads Act, 1998 (Act No. 7 of 1998) for the payment
of tolls where the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited has applied
a mark in terms of regulation 11 of those e-Road Regulations to the effect that
the owner of the vehicle has outstanding tolls in respect of the vehicle
According to our records, the last time that e-Road Regulations were published was in Notice No. R. 739 contained in government gazette No.
36911 of 9 October 2013. The short title of the said
Regulations was “the e-Road Regulations, 2013
(two thousand and THIRTEEN)”.
amendment/s to the e-Road regulations have been proposed, they should have been
published for public/stakeholder comment and at least 30 days should have been
made available for comments to be submitted. The proclamation thereof should
have followed the public/stakeholder engagement process.
It is difficult, if not entirely impossible to
believe that absolutely everyone we know would have failed to submit comments
on such a serious matter and therefore we hold significant doubt that any such
amendments to the e-Road regulations under the SANRAL Act would have escaped
anyone’s, least of all our and the media's attention.
JPSA has written to the Department of Transport
requesting that it furnishes the relevant gazettes in which such amendments
were published for comments and then proclaimed and we await their response.
We have previously stated that we would vigorously
oppose any amendments to legislation proposing that SANRAL should be granted
the power to hold motorists hostage by having their licence discs withheld and
we stand by that statement. It would appear that as a result of this stance,
someone at the Department of Transport has chosen to attempt to introduce
legislation by ambush and this will not be tolerated. At the very least, the
Department of Transport has demonstrated extreme incompetence coupled with a
high level of mala
fides (bad faith).
As soon as we have received a
response from the Department of Transport, we will know how to proceed and will
take the appropriate action.