High Court Rules Against AARTO, Declares Act Invalid

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The Pretoria High Court on Thursday ruled that the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (AARTO) was at odds with the Constitution.

The Act sought to introduce a points demerit system for violations of traffic laws.

OUTA – the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse – challenged the constitutional validity of AARTO and the Amendment Act.

OUTA has repeatedly pointed out the problems with the AARTO Acts, which are also administratively complicated and rely on chaotic municipal systems.

The Acts also usurp the exclusive executive competence of local government (under Part B of Schedule 5 of the Constitution) to enforce traffic and parking laws at municipal level.

In October 2021 Outa asked the court to declare both the main Act and the amendment Act unconstitutional.

On Thursday, Judge Annali Basson found in favour of OUTA saying: “It, therefore, follows in my view that the AARTO Act and the Amendment Act must be declared to be inconsistent with the Constitution in its entirety.

“It is therefore declared that the AARTO Act and the Amendment Acts are unconstitutional and invalid.”

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said he has noted the judgment declaring the AARTO Act and its subsequent Amendment Act unconstitutional and invalid.

The minister said he was studying the judgment and will be guided by legal advice on whether to appeal or not.