South Africa’s planned ‘stealth tax’ for drivers challenged

 ·21 Oct 2020

The Automobile Association (AA) of South Africa says it will officially oppose new regulations in the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (Aarto) which it says amount to a ‘stealth tax’.

The association’s spokesperson Layton Beard told the SABC that the Aarto includes a proposal that will require motorists to pay an additional R100 whenever they receive a traffic fine.

“When you look at the reasoning behind including it, it’s to administer the fine process. And in our view, that should be covered certainly by the fines,” said Beard.

“The money generated from the Infringement Penalty Levy (IPL) will be in the order of billions. We reject this outright. In our view, it’s similar to saying to someone, ‘well, you have to pay to have your taxes submitted’ and it’s unfair and unjust.”

Beard has described the levy as the equivalent as a stealth tax disguised as something else.

Even if a motorist successfully disputes the fine, they will not get this R100 levy back. This means that even motorists who have been fined wrongfully will have to pay the new R100 infringement penalty levy.

“The fine amount should cover the administration of the process and not an additional amount that we feel is being added on at the end as a stealth tax.

“Especially because the money that is generated will go to the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) and not to the national fiscus,” he said.

The Aarto Act provides for a system whereby a person, operator or company (juristic person) pays the penalty and incur points when a traffic infringement is committed. The first phase of the Aarto regulations are set to be introduced on 1 July 2021.

In a statement on Tuesday (20 October), RTIA chief executive Japh Chuwe said that the ultimate intention of the Aarto is to create ‘a new positive attitude’ that ‘promotes safety on the country’s roads’.

There should be lesser fatalities that occur which are as a result of infringements or offences caused by the motorists, he said.

Read: You could soon get traffic fines via WhatsApp, email or SMS

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