Motorists are funding another money-making scheme, warns AA

The Automobile Association (AA) of South Africa has called for a parliamentary inquiry into the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), which it says is not fit for purpose.

The AA has criticised the RTMC for the proposed introduction of new fees, which it says are effectively repurposing traffic law to generate revenue instead of improving safety.

The association says it is also concerned that there is no apparent justification for the proposed fee increases for the RTMC, which already showed a surplus of nearly R262 million in 2020.

“If the RTMC needs more money, it should first prove it adds value. It hasn’t yet, which is why we are calling for urgent intervention into its affairs,” said the AA. “In the AA’s view, the drive to generate funds effectively disincentivises the RTMC to improve road safety as this would negatively impact on its revenue.”

Core failure

The AA said the RTMC has failed in its core function to enhance the overall quality of road traffic and, in particular, to promote safety, security, order, discipline and mobility on the roads.

“Road deaths in South Africa remain high despite the billions of rands of revenue the RTMC has received to address the issue.

“The mandate of the RTMC is not being fulfilled, and the high remuneration of executives and board members grossly exceeds private sector norms for companies of similar size.

“For instance, the chief executive of the RTMC, Makhosini Msibi’s total remuneration in 2020 was R9.8 million, in spite of adverse findings by the Auditor-General in respect of the RTMC’s management,” said the AA.

The group said that taxpayers have a right to understand why the RTMC is costing so much, yet delivering so little, especially in terms of road safety.

“People in South Africa are struggling financially, and for many, a driving licence or PrDP to legally use a vehicle is essential to help them seek or maintain employment.

“Yet the RTMC, which is responsible for renewing these licences, is squandering taxpayers’ money, pays its executives exorbitant salaries which are unattainable in the private sector, and has millions of rands in the bank.

“To now suggest it needs to increase these fees to keep on operating is an insult to every South African, and Parliament needs to step in for the sake of all citizens to put an immediate stop to it,” said the AA.

Read: South Africa is getting ‘service outlets’ to manage its new driving laws – here’s how they will work

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Motorists are funding another money-making scheme, warns AA