New traffic bill proposes a number of changes for 2021

New traffic bill proposes a number of changes for 2021

The National Road Traffic Amendment Bill is ready and waiting for public comment and parliament’s portfolio committee is urging South Africans to participate.

The closing date for submissions is January 20, 2021, according to Business Tech. The changes proposed in the bill will only come into effect next year if the bill is passed.

The bill proposes dozens of changes to the country’s current legislation and says that rules around driving schools, licenses and traffic wardens require further regulation.

One of the most noteworthy rules is the total prohibition of the use and consumption of alcohol by all motorists on South African public roads – it achieves this by removing any reference to any alcohol content in the blood or breath specimen of drivers in South Africa.

At present, the National Road Traffic Act (NRA) allows motorists to operate vehicles as long as their blood alcohol limit is below the legal threshold.

Other changes proposed in the bill include:

Driving centres

The proposed changes for driving centres in the country include:

– providing for the suspension and cancellation of the registration of a driving centre examiner for driving licenses or an examiner of vehicles, if the person in question has been convicted of an offence or has a direct or indirect conflict of interest.

– the registration and grading of training centres.

– providing for the registration and grading of driving school instructors as well as driving schools.

Number plates

The government is planning to introduce new license plates under the bill, according to Transport director-general, Alec Moemi.

“We are looking at a new system that will include the embedding of microdots into a new number plate, that will then be regulated,” said Moemi.

The new license plate system will allow the government to keep track of road usage in the country and improve the safety and security of the road.

“In this regard, these microdots will also help us [measure] traffic patterns and hotspots.”


Although it is not mentioned in the explanatory summary of the bill, the legislation does refer to the introduction of a new type of driving license in South Africa, according to Business Tech.

A ‘provisional’ driver’s license is one of the proposed amendments, meaning that there will be three types of driving license in the country.

These will be a learner’s license, a provisional driver’s license and a driving license.

At present, South Africa’s licensing system is based on time and an individual is given two years to graduate to a full driving license once they have obtained a learner’s license.

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