About the RTIA
Establishment of agency
The Road Trafffic Infringement Agency has been established as a juristic person responsible to the Minister. The agency may do anything that is necessary to perform its functions in terms of any law, or assigned to it by the Minister. The Minister may, on request of an issuing authority, assign any function vested in such issuing authority in terms of this Act, to the agency. The agency must establish one national office, and may establish suboffices at provincial or municipal level.
Objects and functions of agency
The objects of the agency are, despite the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act No. 51 of 1977)—
- to administer a procedure to discourage the contravention of road traffic laws and to support the adjudication of infringements;
- to enforce penalties imposed against persons contravening road traffic laws;
- to provide specialised prosecution support services; and
- to undertake community education and community awareness programmes in order to ensure that individuals understand their rights and options.
The agency performs its functions in terms of subsection (1)(a) of the AARTO Act by—
- receiving notices from any issuing authority if an infringer has failed to comply with an infringement notice;
- considering representations from an infringer with regard to an infringement notice relating to a minor infringement;
- issuing a courtesy letter to an infringer who has failed to comply with an infringement notice;
- issuing an enforcement order against an infringer who has failed to comply with the requirements of a notification or a courtesy letter, or who has failed to appear in court;
- issuing a warrant against an infringer who has failed to comply with an enforcement order;
- revoking an enforcement order; and
- updating the national contraventions register in the prescribed manner.
The agency performs its functions in terms of subsection (1)(b) of the AARTO Act by—
- (a) serving a courtesy letter in terms of section 19 on an infringer who has failed to comply with an infringement notice;
- (b) serving an enforcement order in terms of section 20 on an infringer who has failed to comply with the requirements of a notification contemplated in section 18(7) or a courtesy letter contemplated in section 19(2)(b), or failed to appear in court under the circumstances contemplated in section 22(3); and
- (c) executing a warrant in terms of section 21 against an infringer who has failed to comply with an enforcement order.
The agency performs its functions in terms of subsection (1)(c) of the AARTO Act by—
- (a) assisting the prosecuting authorities to get persons who committed offences before the courts through serving of documents and keeping of records on its database;
- (b) providing traffic law enforcement equipment and support services to issuing authorities;
- (c) providing, at the request of the Office of a Director of Public Prosecutions, a person to testify as an expert witness in a trial on a charge relating to an offence; and
- (d) providing training, where possible, to authorised officers or staff of the prosecuting authority.
The agency performs its functions in terms of subsection (1)(d) of the AARTO Act by—
- (a) disseminating information regarding the role and functions of the agency, and the rights enjoyed by individuals, in terms of this Act;
- (b) applying efficient and equitable procedures to encourage compliance with this Act and fostering law abiding behaviour by road users; and
- (c) supporting road safety awareness programmes.
The agency must, in order to properly perform its functions, establish the prescribed information management system and database which is connected with the national contraventions register, and utilise such database to create, process and maintain records with regard to any action performed by it in terms of this Act.
The agency may, subject to the business plan approved by the board, appoint agents, or contract with any person, to perform any function vested in it in terms of this Act or any other law and the prescribed procedures must be followed.
Road Traffic Infringement Agency Board
A Road Traffic Infringement Agency Board, to represent and control the agency, is established by the AARTO Act, comprising—
- three persons, who are not employed by the State, appointed by the Minister on account of their commercial and technical expertise;
- a Director of Public Prosecutions, nominated by the National Director of Public Prosecutions, in consultation with the Directors of Public Prosecutions; and
- the registrar of the agency.
The Minister must, prior to appointing the members, publish the names of the persons proposed to be appointed as such members in the Gazette and invite comment on the suitability of such members for appointment.
The members of the board hold office for a period not exceeding five years, whereafter they may be reappointed.
A member of the board, must vacate his or her office—
- upon expiry of his or her term of appointment;
- if he or she is incapacitated by physical or mental illness;
- if his or her estate is sequestrated; or
- if he or she is nominated as a candidate for election as a member of Parliament, a provincial legislature or the council of a local authority.
The Minister may remove a member of the board from office if such member—
- fails to perform his or her duties diligently or efficiently;
- is unable to perform his or her duties because of mental illness or disability; or
- has been absent without the permission of the chairperson from two
- consecutive meetings of the board, without good reason.
The members of the board may resign on one month’s written notice to the Minister. The Minister appoints a member of the board as the chairperson. The board meets at least twice per year or as often as may be required. The board determines its own procedures for meetings and decisions and may, in the absence of a chairperson, elect a member as acting chairperson.
Members of the board who are not in the full-time employment of the State may be paid such remuneration and allowances as may be determined by the Minister in consultation with the Minister of Finance.
Functions of Board
The functions of the board are—
- to approve the business plan prepared by the registrar in terms of section 8(2), and monitor the efficient and effective operation of the agency;
- to monitor the success achieved by the agency in promoting compliance with road traffic laws;
- to receive annual reports contemplated in section 8(4), and to advise the registrar on measures to be taken to improve the agency’s effectiveness;
to advise the Minister regarding amendments to this Act or any other road traffic legislation in order to improve the effectiveness of the agency;
to identify and recommend institutional, technical and logistical support which the agency may provide to assist the prosecution of road traffic offenders and the adjudication of offences by the courts; and
to consider any other matter which the board deems advisable in order to achieve the objects of this Act.
The board must annually submit a report on the activities of the agency to the Minister for tabling in Parliament.
Appointment of registrar
The members of the board must appoint a person with proven expertise in corporate and financial management as the registrar of the agency.
The registrar oversees the functions of the agency in accordance with a business plan prepared by the registrar and approved by the board, and in particular—
- the efficiency of penalty collection and supporting administrative procedures;
- the operational and organisational functioning of the agency; and
- the introduction of managerial and operational improvements to facilitate the implementation of this Act.
The registrar may, in writing, assign a function to a deputy registrar or deputy registrars. The registrar must annually submit a report concerning the activities and operations of the agency to the board.
Appointment of deputy registrars
The board may appoint not more than twenty five persons as deputy registrars.
No person may be appointed as a deputy registrar unless that person—
- has occupied a post of magistrate under the Magistrates Act, 1993 (Act No. 90 of 1993), or a post of senior prosecutor, for an uninterrupted period of at least five years; or
- has a tertiary qualification in financial or information management and at least three years appropriate experience.
Appointment of representations officers
The registrar may, subject to the business plan approved by the board, appoint such persons as representations officers as may be necessary.
No person may be appointed as a representations officer unless that person—
- holds a legal qualification and has proven expertise in the field of road traffic law; or
- holds a qualification in road traffic management and control approved by the board.
Appointment of sheriffs
The registrar may recommend to the Minister of Justice that such sheriffs or deputy sheriffs, as may be necessary to ensure the proper performance of the agency’s functions, be appointed in terms of the Sheriffs Act, 1986 (Act No. 90 of 1986).
Financing of agency
The agency is financed from—
- fees paid to the agency in terms of this Act;
- deductions from penalties collected by the agency as contemplated in section 32;
- money appropriated by Parliament for that purpose;
- donations received, which must be declared in the annual report contemplated in section 7(3); and
- money received from any other source.
The agency must utilise any money in accordance with the statement of estimated expenditure. At the end of each financial year, the registrar must invest such amounts of any surplus funds of the agency, as may be determined by the Minister in consultation with the Minister of Finance, in a separate account, from which payments may be made to any authority or body for the purpose of road safety or road traffic law enforcement.
Administrative staff and remuneration
The registrar must, subject to the business plan approved by the board, establish the administration of the agency and may appoint such administrative staff members as may be necessary.
The agency may pay to the persons in its employ such remuneration and allowances, and may provide them with such pensions and other benefits, as the board may determine with the approval of the Minister acting in consultation with the Minister of Finance.