The Road Freight Association (RFA) would like to update its members on several issues, including:
Implementation of AARTO
A circular was sent from the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) to all law enforcement authorities and authorities tasked with road transport management duties (ie licensing, registering, permitting and testing) that they should be ready for the roll-out of AARTO from 01 April 2012.
This does not mean AARTO (and the Point Demerit System) will be implemented from this date. The RFA has confirmed with the Department of Transport that the process with NEDLAC is to be finalised before any decision on implementation is taken, as well as the holding of an “AARTO Summit”. The RFA does not have any detail as to what this Summit will entail nor any indication of dates as to when it will take place.
The communication to authorities included the call to implement Enforcement Orders as contemplated in the AARTO legislation as well as the block on any transported management related transaction (ie re-licensing of vehicles) based on outstanding AARTO offences. Members are requested to submit all correspondence relating to the blocking or receipt of an Enforcement Order (ie copies of the initial Infringement notice and the Courtesy Letter as well as the method by which thee were served. The RFA will then advise members accordingly and determine the need to Interdict the RTIA on this process.
The tolls have been indefinitely suspended (will not be implemented from February 2012). There is no further date as to when the tolls will become operational. The Minister of Transport and Finance have formed a task team to look at the issue and the RFA met with the new SANRAL Board on 01 February to forward the Associations reasons for opposing the toll system and for proposing an alternative.
The Association has proposed that an additional levy on the price of fuel be implemented (countrywide) and that this is placed into a fund managed and controlled by a public-treasury oversight body to ensure road funding (repair, maintenance and new development) is actually implemented as required.
We have retained Mike Schüssler to research what price (addition) to the fuel price is necessary as well as what effect this would have on the economy as a whole.
The RFA has stated that it is open to a fair and transparent user-pay system and that operators are not prepared to pay for unnecessary and exorbitant costs related to the collection of a toll (or monies) to fund the capital expenditure of the new road network. We have also aligned ourselves with the broader community against the tolls in Gauteng or any other urban tolling scheme as envisaged for other cities within the country.
Cross-Border Road Transport Agency (C-BRTA)
The legal action against the Agency is still in progress – documents and affidavits pertaining to the case relating to the increase in tariffs have been swapped between legal councils of the various parties concerned. The matter has not come before the Court as yet. This will probably take place in the early part of 2012.
C-BRTA will circulate a Government Gazette calling for comment on the new tariffs for 2012/13 shorty. The Gazette will also cover changes to the Regulations of the C-BRTA Act (allowing for annual CPIX increases in tariffs as originally proposed by the Association in opposition to the huge hike in tariffs implemented in 2010).
Members are urged to make comment on this Gazette when circulated by the Association.The next meeting of the Cross Border Committee will take place on 14 February at 15:00 in the RFA Offices in Isando. A communiqué in this regard will follow shortly.
The Association is still lobbying with the Department of Transport regarding the imposition of the 12 ton axle restrictions as well as the issue around Principle Approvals and matters relating to the TRH11. Extra expertise will be available from the middle of February 2012 to deal with issues relating to Abnormal Loads.
The next meeting of the Abnormal Loads Committee will take place on 28 February at 15:00 in the RFA Offices in Isando. A communique in this regard will follow shortly.