Legislation and Jurisdiction

South African law surrounding the administration and adjudication of infringements can be confusing and incoherent. The layout of the different acts can be easily explained.

Procedural Law

In most areas within South Africa, traffic fines are being handled and adjudicated according to the the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act. Within this legal system a traffic infringement is dealt with as a criminal offense but the offender is afforded the opportunity to pay a fine as a form of acceptance of guilt. For a traffic infringement under this procedural system a notice will be sent, followed by a court summons if not paid containing a date of appearance. If the aforementioned court date is missed, a warrant of arrest will be issued against the owner of the vehicle or the offender to appear before court.

This legal system is used nationwide excluding Johannesburg and Tshwane.

Administrative Law

The administrative procedure (implemented by the AARTO Act) attempts to replace the system as explained above by introducing an administrative procedure that is mostly focused on removing the driver's eligibility to drive rather than to punish the driver. Thus, for a traffic infringement under the administrative system a notice will also be sent, followed by a courtesy letter if not paid. If the courtesy letter is not heeded an enforcement order is issued that blocks the renewal of the driver's license.

Due to the workings of the administration system and the non-involvement of the court a infringer will not be arrested for a speeding offense or general traffic infringements. This administration procedure will also make use of the famed demerit point system.

This system is currently used within Johannesburg and Tshwane. Current NCOP hearings is being held to implement this system nationwide.