Transport Minister spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi has confirmed to BusinessTech when South African motorists can expect to see the Department of Transport’s big proposed road regulations implemented.
The first of these regulations will come into effect from 1 May 2017 and will prohibit bakkie drivers from both transporting children in the back of their vehicles, as well as stop them from carrying more than five passengers in the vehicle’s load bay.
In addition, stricter speed regulations have been placed on heavy goods vehicles, limiting how fast the vehicles are permitted to travel based on their weight. These vehicles will also have to display a sticker with a ‘100’ limit.
Mnisi also confirmed that the other major proposed regulations first brought to light in 2015, would be open for public comment within the coming months, with the idea that the rules would be implemented officially within the next year.
These new regulations include:
- Drivers will have to undergo a practical re-evaluation when renewing a licence.
- A complete review and revamp of the current K53 test.
- Speed limits to be reduced from 60km/h to 40km/h in urban areas, from 100 to 80km/h in rural areas and from 120 to 100km/h on freeways running through a residential area
- Goods vehicles above 9,000kg GVM to be banned from public roads during peak travelling times.
Howard Dembovsky from Justice Project South Africa explains:
“If it is meant that the provisions contemplated in regulation 250 (paragraph 2 of that notice) as is contemplated in that gazette shall come into force six months after the publication of the gazette in question, then this means that with effect from May 12, 2017 the transportation of schoolchildren for reward in the goods compartment of bakkies or trucks will be unlawful, regardless of whether such person possesses a permit issued in terms of the National Land Transport Act, 2009 (Act 5 of 2009) to do so or not.
Subsection (2) of regulation 250 however prohibits any person from conveying persons (children and adults) in the goods compartment of a bakkie or truck for reward unless they possess a permit issued in terms of the National Land Transport Act, 2009 (Act 5 of 2009).
Neither of these provisions forbids the conveyance of persons in the goods compartment of a bakkie or truck, regardless of whether they are children or not, if they are conveyed without any charge being levied for that conveyance.
The amendments with respect to regulation 250 of the National Road Traffic Regulations are actually less restrictive than the existing Regulation 250 which states that “No person shall on a public road carry any person for reward in the goods compartment of a motor vehicle” FULL STOP!
The effect of regulations 250(1) and (2) will therefore be that no-one may transport school children in the back of a bakkie for reward, but transport operators may apparently acquire an operating permit in terms of the National Land Transport Act to transport persons in the back of a bakkie in areas where the roads are so bad that only 4x4s can drive there.
School kids can and must walk unless a benevolent parent transports them to and from school in the back of his or her 4×4 bakkie at no charge to other parents. This will be with effect from May 12, 2017.
There is no commencement date contemplated for the amendment of regulation 293(1)(b) of the National Road Traffic Regulations which will effectively set a vehicle class speed limit of 100km/h which is applicable to any goods vehicle with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of more than 3500kg but less than 9000kg and a combination of vehicles comprising a goods vehicle and one or two trailers with a gross combination mass (GCM) of more than 3500kg but less than 9000kg.
Because there is no commencement date contemplated for regulations 293(1)(b)(iv)(aa) and (bb), there is no indication when these specific vehicle class speed limits will come into effect, not that minibus taxis and buses obey this limit in any case…”
According to the transport department:
1. Regulation 250 is amended to specifically state that school children may not be transported for reward in the goods compartment of a vehicle. Other persons may also not be transported in the goods compartment for reward unless it is done in terms of the NLTA – (National Land Transport Act) Implementation date 6 months from 11/11/2016 (11/5/2017).
2. Reg 293: Goods vehicles with a GVM of more than 35 00 kg up to 9 000kg are now limited to a maximum speed of 100 km/h – Implementation date – 11/11/2016. The maximum general speed limit of 120 km/h was applicable to the vehicles up to 11/11/2016.