Outdated transport laws set for repeal

WORKS and transport minister John Mutorwa wants several outdated laws regulating the Namibian transport sector to be amended, repealed or redrafted. Mutorwa revealed this in the National Assembly on Wednesday, while sharing his ministry's intention to repeal irrelevant laws. Among the proposed draft laws is the roads bill, which seeks to repeal the Roads Ordinance of 1972 and the Advertising on Roads and Ribbon Development Ordinance of 1960.

"The bill will provide, among other matters, for the ownership and nature of ownership of roads, the establishment and powers of the roads boards, the powers and duties of the minister [of works and transport], the Roads Authority and local authorities in relation to roads," Mutorwa said. He said the bill has been approved by Cabinet and subsequently approved and certified by the Cabinet committee on legislation. The other draft legislation on the cards is the vehicle load mass bill, which in essence seeks to decriminalise overload offences.

According to Mutorwa, the bill was inspired by the fact that the current law is unfair to truck drivers and other drivers of heavy duty vehicles who get charged for overloading, instead of the truck owners. "Most of these drivers don't even know what these trucks are carrying but they are the ones to appear in court [face criminal proceedings] while the owners of the trucks are not held responsible. How unfair is that?" Mutorwa lamented.

The bill will be tabled in the National Assembly this year. The third is the public passenger transport bill which is expected to repeal the Road Transport Act of 1977 which deals with public transport permits. Once passed into law, the bill will implement the National Public Passenger Road Policy to regulate public passenger and road transport services.

It will also establish the National Public Passenger Road Transportation Board of Namibia as well as regional boards.

- Nampa

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