JOHANNESBURG – Following the concerns raised
by the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) this morning regarding the
public spat between OUTA and SANRAL concerning civil legal action on unpaid
e-tolls bills, Justice Project South Africa wishes support the AA’s calls and
to add its concerns to the mix.
It is remarkable that despite having been
specifically named by OUTA, Werksmans Attorneys have remained silent on this
issue, even though this law firm is the only
party which can settle this dispute between SANRAL and OUTA and in so
doing, provide much-needed clarity to the motoring public.
If it is true that Werksmans Attorneys have
reached an agreement with OUTA to “stay legal action against all current and
future members of OUTA pending the outcome of a test case”, then the details of
this agreement must officially and urgently be made public.
If SANRAL asserts, as it apparently does, that
no such agreement is in place, then all it needs to do is have its legal
representatives be a party to a joint media statement with SANRAL refuting
OUTA’s claims and that will be the end of the story.
If however OUTA’s claims
turn out to be true then SANRAL would need to explain why it is misleading the
public and its legal representatives would need to explain why they are
seemingly seeking to favour OUTA members in violation of Section 9(1) of the
Bill of Rights under the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996
which holds that “Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal
protection and benefit of the law”.
Furthermore, if such an agreement is in place,
then it stands to reason that no Court in South Africa would risk making a
pre-emptive ruling whilst the outcome of a test case is pending and in so
doing, violating the constitutional rights of those who are not members of
JPSA therefore calls upon
SANRAL and Werksmans Attorneys urgently issue a joint statement providing definitive clarity on this matter.
– Justice Project South Africa has recently become aware of the fact that the
Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport is calling for submissions from
members of the public and other interested stakeholders regarding the Administrative
Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Amendment Bill, 2015 which was
originally published for public comment on 20 February 2013 and subsequently on
28 June 2013.
closing date for submissions thereon was 28
July 2013 and since then, no further calls for public comment have been
published in any government gazette.
12 November 2015, a notification of the intention to introduce the AARTO
Amendment Bill, 2015 into Parliament was published by the Minister of Transport
in government gazette 39395 and then,
on 30 November 2015, the AARTO Amendment Bill, 2015 itself was published.
Bill must not be confused with the
publications for public comment on draft amendments to the AARTO Regulations
which have also been published from time to time, including but not limited to
those draft amendments which contemplate e-tolls.
light of the fact that the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport is
now calling for submissions and has stated that it has extended its
deadline therefor to 31 August 2016, JPSA will of course be submitting a
comprehensive submission thereon since it has been one of the front-running stakeholders involved in submissions on
the AARTO Act and its Regulations, as well as all other road traffic
legislation from the onset of the promulgation of the AARTO Act in the Cities
of Johannesburg and Tshwane.
submission will primarily be made on behalf of our members but it is
unavoidable that it will also largely represent the interests of the wider
motoring public at large since we cannot imagine that many other motorists
would have dramatically materially different interests to our members. We have
also earlier made an application to address the Parliamentary Portfolio
Committee on Transport on this Bill and are awaiting their reply.
we have completed our submission, it will be sent to the Parliamentary
Portfolio Committee on Transport and it will also be published online at our
website in the interests of the total transparency JPSA holds dear. We envisage
that this will take place at some time close to the closing date of 31 August,
due to the fact that JPSA never shoots
from the hip and wishes to make its submission as comprehensive as
also wishes to encourage members of the public to download the AARTO Amendment
Bill, 2015, contemplate its contents and make their own submissions to the Parliamentary
Portfolio Committee on Transport.
Bill can be downloaded from the SA Government website here
and written submissions sent to Ms Valerie Carelse on
email@example.com or 021 403 3272.
– Since stories of the introduction of a new number plate format applicable to
the entire country first started doing the rounds last week, Justice Project
South Africa (JPSA) has consistently maintained that the proposed amendments contained
in Government Gazette 38430 of 28 January
2015 have not been promulgated yet and therefore, people should avoid “getting
their nickers in a knot” about them.
JPSA was alarmed to see the comments of the official Transport Department
spokesperson, Ishmael Mnisi in an IOL
report stating that: “the document that has been doing the rounds is not
authentic and neither has the department made a determination to the effect
reflected therein.” He also allegedly said “We condemn the fabricated document
with the contempt it deserves and urge all South Africans to ignore it while we
investigate its source”.
alleged non-authentic “fabricated document” referred to is Government
Gazette 38430 of 28 January 2015, the download link to which provided
by MyBroadband directs users directly to
the SA Government website where Government
Gazettes may be downloaded by anyone interested in the contents of such
gazettes and is regularly used by JPSA and all manner of other people and
entities to do so.
today however (at 12:39), the Department of Transport appeared to have
completed its investigation and put out a media release dealing with the draft
amendments to number plate regulations contained in that Government Gazette. Therein, it now acknowledges the fact that it
has indeed planned amendments to number plate regulations, further saying: “At
the end of the Departmental consultation process, the matter will be presented
to the SA Government website at www.gov.za,
this “consultation process” came to an end on 28 February 2015.
is very concerned about the fact that it is quite clear that the head does not
appear to know what the tail is doing at the Department of Transport. Mr Mnisi’s
allegations of fraud, fabrication and rumour-mongering were quite clearly false
and the Department of Transport has not so much as had the common decency to
apologise for his actions.
it has become a popular tactic if the Department of Transport and its various
State Owned entities to accuse others of “misleading the public”, based upon
little more than their own disdain for anyone outside of government, this
behaviour is no less distasteful.
We therefore call upon the Minister of Transport
to do the responsible thing and issue a formal apology to those who have been
insulted and had their integrity slandered by spokespeople for the Department
of Transport and others.