AARTO Explained


Japh Chuwe (right) – the Registrar of the RTIA at a media briefing held by the National Press Club in August 2019

The Road Traffic Infringement Agency (to be renamed the Road Traffic Infringement Authority) is a creature created by Section 3 of the AARTO Act. It is a State Owned Entity that derives the vast majority of its revenue from traffic fines, together with the further fees it raises on them. Although it was created by the publication of a government gazette on 1 July 2007, it only commenced operations in 2010. Prior to that time, the RTMC, which is an issuing authority, performed its functions

Despite being funded almost solely by penalties applicable to traffic fines, together with further fees it raises on them, the RTIA claims to be “an independent arbiter between alleged infringers and issuing authorities”. It also adopts the motto “justice in adjudication”.

All the RTIA’s staff are remunerated in the form of generous salaries and performance bonuses. According to its own 2018/19 annual report, in the 2018/19 financial year, 93.17% of its revenue came from traffic fines and fees thereon. Its employment costs exceeded the grant it received from Parliament by R69,985,074‬. Without the income from traffic fines and fees, it would be bankrupt yet it maintains that it is not biased because of this.

Page 142 of the RTIA’s 2018/19 Annual Report: Statement of financial performance

The RTIA has been the main driving force in steamrolling the AARTO Amendment Bill (now Act) through Parliament. In October 2019, the Department of Transport hurriedly published sloppily drafted regulations to accompany the AARTO Amendment Act for public comment. One of the two individuals to whom comments were to be submitted , and undoubtedly had a hand in drafting them, was a person in the employ of the RTIA.

An updated version of the draft regulations was published for public comment on 2 October 2020.

If an alleged infringer does not act on an infringement notice within 32 days of its service, or presumed service, the RTIA gets involved. It issues courtesy letters and its Registrar issues enforcement orders. It also becomes entitled to the remaining of the 50% of the penalty, when the discount is forfeited.

The RTIA can be contacted through its unsecured website at http://rtia.co.za/contact.php.

Now read checking AARTO fines statuses.