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National Road Traffic Act, 1996 (Act No. 93 of 1996)

Chapter XIII : Regulations

75. Power of Minister to make regulations


1) The Minister may after a decision has been taken in the Shareholders Committee make regulations not inconsistent with this Act, in respect of any matter contemplated, required or permitted to be prescribed in terms of this Act and generally regarding the operation of any vehicle on a public road, the construction and equipment of such vehicle and the conditions on which it may be operated, and in any other respect for the better carrying out of the provisions or the achievement of the objects of this Act, and in particular, but without derogating from the generality of this subsection, regarding –
a) the safety of traffic on a public road, including the restriction of the use of any such road or part thereof by such traffic and the duties of the users of any such road;
b) the identification of vehicles or parts of vehicles and, in relation to a motor vehicle, the size and shape of the licence mark or number to be displayed in terms of this Act and the means to be applied to validate such mark or number and to render any such mark or number easily distinguishable, whether by night or by day, when any such vehicle is operated on a public road;
c) the width, height and length of any vehicle, and the diameter of the wheels and the width, nature and condition of the tyres when operated on a public road;
d) the maximum mass, laden or unladen, of any vehicle, the height and width of any load which may be carried by any vehicle, the manner in which any vehicle may be loaded, the extent to which any load may project in any direction and the maximum mass of any vehicle or any part thereof supported by the road or any specified area thereof, when any such vehicle is operated on a public road;
e) the emission of exhaust gas, smoke, fuel, oil, visible vapours, sparks, ash or grit from any vehicle operated on a public road;
f) excessive noise owing to the design or condition of any vehicle or the loading thereof, or to the design, condition or misuse of a silencer, or of a hooter, bell or other warning device, when any such vehicle is operated on a public road;
g) the particulars to be marked on any vehicle;
i) the classification of dangerous goods;
ii) the powers and duties of traffic officers in respect of the transportation of dangerous goods;
iii) the manner in and conditions on which specified dangerous goods may be transported;
iv) the dangerous goods which may not be transported; and
v) the training of persons performing any task in relation to the transportation of dangerous goods on public roads;
i) the towing, pushing or drawing of any vehicle by another vehicle on a public road;
j) the conditions on which any motor vehicle fitted with steering apparatus on the left side may be imported into the Republic or operated on a public road, including the power to prohibit the operation of such vehicle on a public road;
k) the number, nature and kind of lamps, including retro-reflectors, to be carried by any vehicle operated on a public road, the position in which they shall be, the manner, conditions and times of their use and the use of any lamp or lighting device which may endanger public safety and, for the purposes of this paragraph, "retro-reflector" means a reflector which bears a certification mark as defined in section 1 of the Standards Act, 1993 (Act No.29 of 1993), or which bears any other prescribed identification mark;
l) the number and nature of brakes and for ensuring that brakes, silencers and steering apparatus shall be efficient and in proper working order, in respect of any vehicle operated on a public road;
m) the regulation of the operation and control of any vehicle on a public road, its construction, equipment, width of tracks, dimensions, mass and use in respect of either chassis and body or chassis, body and load and the conditions on which it may be used;
n) in relation to a vehicle operated on a public road, the devices to be fitted for –
i) signaling the approach thereof;
ii) enabling the driver thereof to become aware of the approach of another vehicle from the rear; and
iii) indicating any intended movement thereof, and the use of any such devices and for ensuring that they shall be efficient and kept in proper working order;
o) the protection of any public road, the mass, tyres and load of any vehicle in relation to any specified bridge or ferry, the time when and speed at which any vehicle of a specified mass may be allowed to cross any bridge or ferry, and the furnishing of security by any person against damage to any public road by reason of heavy traffic, and making good the cost of repairing such damage;
p) the stopping with and parking of vehicles on public roads;
q) the rules of the road that shall apply to all public roads;
r) an accident reporting system and the furnishing of accident reports and statistics of any nature;
s) the determination of the number of passengers for the transport of which a certain class of motor vehicle is adapted and the number which may be transported, the general safety, comfort and convenience of passengers carried on or by such a motor vehicle and the conduct of the driver, conductor and passengers on such a vehicle;
t) the specifications for the examination of any vehicle;
u) any light which may interfere with the proper view of any road traffic sign or may be confused with any such sign;
v) the method of determining any fact which is required for the purposes of this Act;
w) any form, process or token which the Minister may deem expedient for the purposes of this Act and the nature and extent of any information to be furnished for the purpose of any such form;
x) the issue of any duplicate certificate, licence or other documentation or token issued in terms of this Act if the original has been lost, destroyed or defaced or any particulars thereon have become illegible;
y) the carriage of persons as passengers on any vehicle which has been constructed or designed solely or mainly for the carriage of goods and not for the carriage of passengers and their effects;
z) the additional duties for operators of specified classes of motor vehicles or operators engaged in activities which require additional safety measures for the protection of the public; and
zA) any matter for which –
i) it is necessary or convenient to assist the transition from the operation of the laws repealed by this Act to the operation of this Act; and
ii) this Act does not, in the Minister’s opinion, make provision or enough provision.
zB) the regulation of any person who offers goods for transportation on a public road or accepts goods after transportation, in relation to the mass of such goods, the documentation relating to such goods, the agreements that have to be concluded for such transportation, insurance in respect of the transportation of such goods and any other matter relating to the offering of goods for transportation or the acceptance of transported goods;
zC) the criteria in terms of which a person is classified as an habitual overloader, the offences to which such classification applies, the criteria for rehabilitation, if necessary and the sanctions for classification as an habitual overloader;
zD) the equipment to be used for law enforcement purposes, the certification of such equipment and requirements in respect of records obtained from the equipment;
zE) measures to limit speed; and
zF) those vehicles which shall be classified as an "emergency medical response vehicle."


2) Regulations made by the Minister under subsection (1) regarding –
aa) specific categories –
i) of road transport undertakings;
ii) of industries or trades or occupations concerned with road transport;
iii) of persons by whom any undertaking or occupation referred to in subparagraphs (i) and (ii) is carried on or exercised; or
iv) of operators of vehicles concerned with, or new entrants to, any undertaking or occupation referred to in subparagraph (iii);
bb) specific circumstances in which any undertaking or occupation referred to in paragraph (a)(iii) is carried on or exercised; or
cc) specific areas in which any undertaking or occupation referred to in paragraph (a)(iii) is carried on or exercised, shall be so made by the Minister with due regard to the particular requirements of the category, circumstance or area concerned.


a) A regulation made under subsection (1)(zA) may be given retrospective effect from a date earlier than the day this Act comes into force.
b) To the extent to which a regulation under subsection (1)(cA) takes effect from a date earlier than the date of its publication in the Gazette, the regulation does not operate so as –
i) to affect in a prejudicial manner the rights of any person existing before that date of publication; or
ii) to impose liabilities on any person in respect of anything done or omitted to be done before that date of publication.
c) This subsection and subsection (1)(zA) expire one year after they come into force.


2B) A regulation made under subsection (1)(zF) shall be so made after consultation with the Minister of Health.


a) The power to make regulations for any purpose referred to in subsection (1), shall include the power to restrict or prohibit any matter or thing in relation to that purpose either absolutely or conditionally.
b) Any regulation regarding driving licences contained in identity documents shall be made in consultation with the Minister of Home Affairs.


4) Any regulation may be made to apply generally throughout the Republic or within any specified area thereof or to any specified class or category of vehicle or person.


5) A regulation may provide for penalties for a contravention thereof and for different penalties in the case of successive or continuous contraventions, but no penalty shall –
a) in the case of a contravention of a regulation made under subsection (1)(d),(l) or (n), exceed a fine or imprisonment for a period of six years; or
b) in the case of a contravention of any other regulation, exceed a fine or imprisonment for a period of one year.


6) Before the Minister makes any regulation, the Minister must cause a draft of the proposed regulations-
a) to be referred to Parliament for comment, and
b) at the same time, to be published in the Gazette together with a notice calling upon all interested persons to lodge in writing, and within a period specified in the notice, but not less than four weeks as from the date of publication of the notice, any objections or representations which they would like to raise or make, with the Director-General for submission to the Minister:

Provided that, if the Minister thereafter decides to alter the draft regulation as a result of any objections or representations submitted thereafter, it shall not be necessary so to publish such alterations before making the regulations.