Honourable Premier of the Eastern Cape,
Honourable Members of the Legislature,
Ladies and gentlemen
A quote from Tata Madiba
“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”
The ruling party stands on a platform and advocates that they are for the people, with the people and by the people. Yet the whole intention of this bill is to impoverish the people as well as brand people as potentially unemployable.
The AARTO Bill was first introduced in 1998 and again in June 2013. This bill is nothing else than another failed project from the ruling party, for example the e-toll system. This bill will definitely not better the lives of South Africans but rather worsen their livelihoods.
The following are the objectives of this bill:
- To move from an agency to an authority. In the Oxford dictionary, agency is defined as a business or organisation providing a particular service on behalf of another business or person. Authority is defined in the same dictionary and I quote as “The power or right, to give orders, make decisions, enforce obedience and have authority over his subordinates. So from an agency to an authority it is clear that the ruling party want to have control over the lives of poor South Africans and in my perspective they would become cash cows.
- To reduce road accidents by 50% in the year 2030.
- To improve road users behaviour
- To repeal old laws
- To introduce a point demerit system
- To be a collecting authority as they will be collecting fees for the issuing of infringement notices
- Establish of appeals tribunal, and
- To establish and administer rehabilitation programmes.
Hon Speaker, in reality we as road users will be triple charged for our road infringements when making a payment. By this I mean a demerit point will be deducted, plus you need to pay your fine, plus you need to pay R70 fee to the authority against the current system.
Any licenced driver will start off with a 12 point system and as you accumulate infringements, points will be deducted from there.
Furthermore, allow me to elaborate on how the envisaged point system will work. Firstly, Hon Speaker, to date this so called authority does not know how many points will be deducted for which infringement. If a road user commits an offence be it for speeding, reckless driving, cell phone usage or any other road infringement points will be deducted.
When a licenced driver reaches half way, which is six points, you will be sent for a refresher course and yet the cost will be on the account of the licenced driver. If you continue losing points and come to zero points, you will lose your licence and you will have to redo your driving test again. It will also take you two years to accumulate 12 points again.
For a licenced driver that only has one infringement for a period of six months it will take those two months of good road behaviour to recollect the point that was lost.
The question that comes to mind is how many of us sitting here today in this House are also road offenders by either breaking the speed limit or any other road infringements. So just think for a minute, you may lose your licence and you may potentially lose your job (no driver’s licence, no driver). So when you lose your job it contributes to unemployment rate, the slow growth of the economy and many other contributing factors.
Hon Speaker, let me be conscious of the time let me move on. A pilot project was conducted in the Gauteng province and the following was the benchmark of the pilot:
- To improve the manner of servicing documents to infringes
- To provide an opportunity for penalties
- To establish appeals tribunal
However, the implementation of the demerit point system was not conducted because in the bill there are no clear recommendations as to how any points must be deducted for which infringements.
It is the very same situation when Act 203 was implemented, that no person must be transported at the back of a bakkie for any remuneration, there were no timeframes or penalty system in the bill. Each province was supposed to come up with a fine system and to date the Eastern Cape has not done this. This is why we still transporting pupils at the back of bakkies. There were no clear recommendations in the bill.
Hon Speaker, public participation was conducted in March 2018 and it was a failed attempt by the committee. If you look at the report a number of district meetings did not happen due to none or poor attendance from participants. Furthermore, if you look at the report a number of districts were against the bill. Hon Speaker, clear recommendation emanated from some of those sittings that were held, and they are:
- A transport summit must be held in the province
- Improve road network
- Appoint additional traffic law enforcement
- A 24hour traffic law enforcement and the list goes on and on.
However, when the committee met in May 2018, to adopt the report as well as to vote for the negotiating mandate, unanimously a decision was taken based on the challenges as well as the recommendation from the report that the Eastern Cape will vote against the mandate. To no surprise a follow up meeting was convened and the ruling party changed their mandate to vote in favour of the negotiating mandate.
Hon Speaker, allow me to caution the ruling party for their actions to this bill. The ruling party goes against the will of the people in this province when they have spoken to them. In my view you are backing a dying horse. This is not the will of the people and it will not benefit the poorest of the poor.
In conclusion, in 2019 the voters of this province will punish the ruling party for not representing them as well as respecting their views, and they will be voting for change and the only party they will vote for is the Democratic Alliance under the theme, Team One South Africa.
I thank you