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AARTO


An AARTO policy in the workplace will be of utmost importance in order to effectively;

  • address the obligations and risks as a vehicle owner under this Act;
  • manage the behaviour of employees authorized to operate (any) company owned vehicle;
  • deal with employees that misbehave on the roads in company vehicles;
  • deal with employees “incapacitated” as a result of exceeding the maximum permissible amount of demerit points allowed under the Act.


Although AARTO has received much coverage in the media very few employers, employees and fleet operators are aware of the consequences of this act. Regardless of whether you love or hate this act, the reality is that if you misbehave on the roads your licence may be suspended or even cancelled and your fleet could be halted if you are an operator as contemplated in section 265 of the National Road Traffic Act. The AARTO Act is an administrative process that occasionally leans toward the Criminal Procedures Act 51 of 1977. You would therefore only on certain occasions see the inside of a court or speak to a public prosecutor and unfortunately admission of guilt fines will not be accepted, you may plead guilty and pay the whole fine if you have elected to appear in court.


Some of the consequences of the act are:

  • Failure to respond 32 days after infringement was served will result in additional costs for courtesy letters and enforcement orders.
  • Should the employer fail to keep record of the driver of a vehicle and cannot nominate the driver, the employer will pay the fine at three times the value applicable to ordinary license holders (not operators).
  • The employer could receive a hefty fine or be imprisoned for a year for failing to keep record of the details of drivers authorized to use the vehicles of the employer.
  • Should the employer / owner of a vehicle fail to adhere to the requirements of an enforcement order, it will lead to a warrant of execution which could see the movable property of the owner of the vehicle sold at an auction. Further to this the applicable vehicle will be immobilized and no further licenses or operator cards will be issued until such time that the fine has been paid, including all the legal fees.
  • Offences under section 49 of the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996 (applicable to operators as defined in the act) will result in demerit points recorded against the operator and if a specific number of demerit points have been exceeded, the operator may not operate any of his / her vehicles on our roads.
  • The drivers’ licenses of employees may be suspended or cancelled as a result of infringements.
  • Failing to verify the status of the demerit points recorded against the name of an employee / driver could result in a driver illegally driving a vehicle, which could have far reaching implications in terms of third party liability and the insurance of the vehicle.

In order to manage AARTO effectively we suggest that the following measures are introduced in your organization:


Depending on the size and nature of the organization, appoint a person in the company responsible for the coordination and administration relating to AARTO. Having said this it is advisable to wait until we have an official date of national implementation before appointing addition personnel.


1. Such a person will also be responsible to keep a record of;

  • the dates on which documents were received and document sent
  • the outcome of representations to the agency (RTIA)
  • the status of an infringement (i.e. awaiting receipt or outcome nomination of driver)
  • court dates (if elected)
  • demerit points allocated to the company, in the case of an operator
  • verification of demerit points allocated to a particular driver

2. Implement proper record keeping measures such as log books and the written particulars of drivers.

3. The regular verification of the demerit points recorded against the name of an employee / driver (as soon as demerit points become applicable).

4. Implement and enforce strict policies and procedures. Make changes to the disciplinary code of the company and employment contracts.

5. Verify the demerit points of applicants (not only limited to “drivers”, ANY person that must drive a company vehicle).

6. It is recommended that employers should very regularly collect mail from the post office in order to nominate the driver of the vehicle (or to qualify for the 50% discount) within 32 days after service of an infringement notice.


As a result of the above we recommend that companies in advance start to plan and attend one of our AARTO seminars focusing specifically on the administrative process, the documents that must be used, timeframes applicable, implications for company proxy’s, demerit points applicable on individuals, demerit points for each of the operator vehicles in a fleet and the demerit points for the whole fleet of an operator. Besides this we also focus on the extremely important and much underestimated employment relationship with the driver as a result of AARTO. Part of the course material is a detailed AARTO policy that may be used in order to effectively manage the human recourses part of your fleet.

            

Demerit points


Under the AARTO Act a licence holder will accumulate demerit points for certain infringements (road traffic related offences). The demerit points that a driver incurs are reflected on the National Contravention Register and are recorded when;

  • The infringer pays the fine.
  • Partially pays the fine.
  • Infringer applies to pay the fine in instalments.
  • The payment of the infringer is dishonoured (rejected debit order).
  • The infringer elected to be tried in court and was unsuccessful in proving his case or an appeal is upheld.
  • The infringer did not pay the fine within a period of 32 days after the enforcement order was served.


If a person incurs demerit points which, when added to the points previously recorded against that person in the national contraventions register, exceed 12 points that person is disqualified from driving or operating a motor vehicle.

         

The licence of a driver is suspended for a period of 3 months for each demerit point above 12. If the licence holder already has 12 demerit points and a further 2 demerit points are allocated for i.e. failure to comply with the directions conveyed on a road traffic sign at a scholar patrol, then the licence of that driver shall be suspended for a period of 6 months (12 Points plus 2 = 14 – 12 points = 2 above 12 x 3 months = 6 months suspension). 1 Demerit point is deducted for every 3 months that the driver does not incur any additional demerit points.


The driver's licence, PDP or Operator Card of an offender is cancelled completely on the third occasion of suspension.


  • Each vehicle of the operator is allowed maximum of 12 demerit points and if exceeded will result in the suspension of the operator card of that vehicle for a period of 3 months.
  • Operators will also incur demerit points that, if exceeded, will result in the suspension of all the operator cards issued to the operator


Employers will have to plan ahead and decide how they will manage the risks associated with AARTO Act as well as the potential consequences of “incapacitated” drivers as a result of the cancellation or suspension of their licences.



When we first heard of AARTO we thought it was one of the several arts festivals taking place in South Africa. Well unfortunately AARTO is no festival as many motorists in Johannesburg and Pretoria will tell you.

AARTO is the abbreviation for the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act and is the new “administrator” of the National Road Traffic Act. In layman's terms it means that AARTO is responsible for the administration, collection and adjudication of fines related to road traffic offenses.


This act was born in 1998 and amended several times during the past 12 years. The amended acts are act 22 of 1999, act 24 of 2000 and act 72 of 2002. The relevant regulations and schedules were published on 16 July 2008 in government gazette notice 31242.


AARTO was initially set to roll out nationally on 1 November 2010 and this was published in government gazette notice 33114 on 16 April 2010 but recently retracted by President Jacob Zuma in government gazette notice 33341 on 30 June 2010. This was as a result of pressure by the Cape Metropolitan Council alleging that there were too many loopholes and administrative implications in the new act. The RTMC (Road Traffic Management Corporation) however indicated that the act will be implemented nationally on the 1st of April 2011. It must be stressed that in the meantime AARTO remains effective in Johannesburg and Pretoria without the demerit points.


According to section 1 of the act its purpose is to;

(a) to encourage compliance with the national and provincial laws, municipal by-laws relating to road traffic and to promote road traffic safety;

(b) to encourage the payment of penalties imposed for infringements and to allow alleged minor infringers to make representations;

(c) to establish a procedure for the effective and expeditious adjudication of infringements;

(d) to alleviate the burden on the courts of trying offenders for infringements;

(e) to penalize drivers and operators who are guilty of infringements or offences through the imposition of demerit points leading to the suspension and cancellation of driving licences, professional driving permits or operator cards;

(f) to reward law-abiding behaviour by reducing demerit points where they have been incurred if infringements or offences are not committed over specified periods;

(g) to establish an agency to support the law enforcement and judicial authorities and to undertake the administrative adjudication process; and

(h) to strengthen co-operation between the prosecuting and law enforcement authorities by establishing a board to govern the agency.


You may at this stage ask what the big deal is since you will carry on ignoring the fines received by mail or simply storm into the office of the public prosecutor and frustrate the poor official with endless stories of incompetence, victimization or that your wife was in labour. Unfortunately those days are over and traffic fines are now combined with a demerit point system.


What this means is that demerit points will be allocated for traffic fines up to a maximum of 12 points. As soon 12 points are exceeded your driver’s license will be suspended for a period of three months for each point above 12. So if you have 10 points on your driver’s license and you receive a fine coupled with five demerit points, your license to operate a vehicle will be suspended for a period of nine months. Should your license be suspended for a third time it will be canceled by the authorities and you may never again drive a vehicle, unless you again apply for and is issued with a license.

   

  

PHASE 1 - THE INFRINGEMENT NOTICE
YOU HAVE 32 DAYS TO DO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING


AARTO

     
PHASE 2 - THE COURTESY LETTER
YOU HAVE 32 DAYS TO DO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING
     


AARTO

   
PHASE 3 - THE ENFORCEMENT ORDER
YOU HAVE 32 DAYS TO DO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING

    


  

PHASE 4 - THE WARRANT OF EXECUTION

     


 

What does POPI compliance mean?

By Jan du Toit

 

Latest developments – Registration of Information Officers:

 

On 17 May 2021 the Information Regulator’s long awaited online portal went live for the registration of Information and Deputy Information Officers.

 

The Information Officer of a Responsible Party is the person at the head of your company (CEO or MD) or any person acting in such capacity, or specifically appointed by the MD or CEO to be the Information Officer. Registration must be completed before the end for June 2021.

 

The address for the portal is  https://justice.gov.za/inforeg/portal.html   

 

The following information is required to successfully register: 

  • Company name.

  • Company registration number.

  • Company type.

  • Company physical and postal addresses.

  • Company telephone and fax numbers.

  • Information Officer gender, nationality, full name and surname, ID or passport number.

  • Deputy Information Officers same details as per above.

 

POPIA Compliance – what must be done?

With a little more than a month left before POPI becomes fully effective, many employers may find themselves out of time to become fully compliant to amongst other considerations, the 8 processing conditions prescribed in the Protection of Personal Information Act.

 

To be considered compliant the following must be considered and applied in the business of a Responsible Party before 1 July 2021. 

  1. POPI training / awareness sessions for the CEO / MD, managers and others tasked with the company’s POPI compliance project. Have a look on our website for the next POPIA training dates.

  2. Compliance audit to be conducted company-wide per department / division to determine the current processing practices within the organization and to establish what needs to be done to be compliant.

  3. Correction of contraventions as identified, and to introduce reasonable technical and organizational measures to prevent the loss or unauthorized access of Personal Information.

  4. Introduction of Data Subject rights and consent in the business through policies and consent clauses / paragraphs / contracts.

  5. The introduction of a PAIA manual (Promotion of Access to Information Act) that incorporates data subject rights and participation in terms of POPIA. This manual must be published on one of the company’s websites. It is also important to note that the current exemption granted by the Minister of Justice for some business to not have such a manual in place currently, expires at the end of June 2021.

  6. General staff POPI policy and legislation awareness training.

  7. Registration of the company’s Information Officer (the CEO, MD or any person acting in such position).

  8. Follow-up assessment on compliance measures and adherence thereto.

 

It is important to note that no institution, not even the Information Regulator, can “accredit” any Responsible Party in South Africa to be compliant in terms of legislation. Compliance (or otherwise) will only be determined should an investigation be launched by the Information Regulator following a complaint. Should such an investigation confirm a lack of compliance, consequences such an administrative fine not exceeding R10m may follow (which one may luckily pay off in instalments). Further to this those whose rights are infringed upon by a Responsible Party not adhering to the requirements of POPIA, may also institute civil proceedings. Such  proceedings may result in compensation being awarded for loss, as well as aggravated damages determined at the discretion of the court.

 

In terms of section 19 of the Act, the Responsible Party (business owner / employer) is required to introduce reasonable organizational and technical measures to secure the integrity and confidentiality of Personal Information. The organizational measures referred  to above includes inter alia both internal and external policies to introduce the principle of protection of personal information in the workplace, as well as the rights of data subjects.

 

To allow you more time to focus on your business, the author of this article compiled a bundle of detailed policies for your business, ready to use. This includes all relevant forms to be used and a template document with draft consent clauses / paragraphs / rules  to be incorporated into service and employment contracts, job applications, credit and other applications forms, WhatsApp and Facebook groups / pages, and Independent Contractor agreements.

 

Also included is an Operator Agreement as required in terms of section 21 of the Act and a consent letter for existing clients / service providers, to agree to the continued processing of their Personal Information beyond June 2021.

 

The policies bundle includes: 

  • Privacy notice template to be published on your website.

  • Personal information protection policy.

  • Personal information retention policy.

  • Data breach policy.

  • Data breach register - form.

  • Data breach report - form.

  • Data security policy.

  • Data subject access request policy and procedures.

  • Data subject access request forms.

  • Processing agreement with third parties as Operators - contract.

  • Data subject participation - draft consent paragraphs / clauses to be incorporated into service and employment contracts, job applications, credit and other applications forms, WhatsApp and Facebook groups / pages and Independent Contractor agreements

  • Guidelines on the appointment of deputy information officers, inclusive of appointment letter.

 

For only R3750 you can now order you set of POPI policies, ready to use. Contact Jan du Toit for further assistance at [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courses and Workshops

 

                   

We will commence on the 10th of January 2022. Please refer back to the website in early January to view upcoming courses and workshops.

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