• We cannot drive while on “autopilot” while doing other things such as using our cellphones, applying make-up or eating. Our article in Servamus: April 2021 explains why it is dangerous to multi-task while driving.

  • Do you agree that having more roadworthy vehicles on our roads will contribute to road safety and less crashes? If you don’t, read our Community Safety Tips in Servamus: April 2021 where we explain why we believe it would.

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By Annalise Kempen

It is not unusual to hear or read about a serious or fatal vehicle crash where one of the drivers was under the influence of alcohol. It therefore comes as no surprise that authorities want to amend legislation to allow for a zero tolerance against alcohol for drivers. The question is whether this would be the solution to decrease the high level of serious and fatal crashes on South African roads or whether motorists will still be willing to take their chances, while hoping that they will not be stopped and tested by the authorities.

Current legislative provisions
South African motorists are well aware that it does not take too many drinks to push a person over the legal blood alcohol content limit. In fact, that second beer or glass of wine can make the difference between being legally safe or arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. As the South African Police Service (SAPS) so rightly warns: "Your blood may not have an alcohol content of more than 0.05%. This means that even after what you may think is a ‘small drink’, you could be over the limit. If you have more than 350 ml of beer, or if you have more than a single tot of brandy or other spirit, you may already be over the limit. Remember that these levels of alcohol will remain in your system for up to eight hours after consumption!" (SAPS, Nd).

Section 65 of the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996 states that no person is allowed to drive while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a drug having a narcotic effect, or with an excessive amount of alcohol in their blood or breath. Section 65(2) specifies this legal limit in terms of the blood alcohol level as having to be less than 0.05 g/100 ml, or in the case of a professional driver referred to in section 32 of this Act as less than 0.02 g/100 ml. Section 65(5) deals with the concentration of alcohol in any specimen of breath exhaled by such person, which has to be less than 0.24 mg/1000 ml, or in the case of a professional driver referred to in section 32, less than 0.10 mg/1000 ml. Section 65(9) provides that no person shall refuse that a specimen of blood, or a specimen of breath, be taken of him or her.

Proposed amendments to legislation
Proposed amendments to section 65 of the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996 to allow for no alcohol in the blood of breath levels of vehicle drivers have been widely publicised. The National Road Traffic Amendment Bill that was published in 2020 notes in its summary that the amendments to Act 93 of 1996 will, inter alia, further prohibit and reduce the limit of alcohol in a specimen of blood taken from any part of the body.

The proposed amendment of section 65 reads as follows:
“(2) No person shall on a public road -
(a) drive a vehicle; or
(b) occupy the driver’s seat of a motor vehicle the engine of which is running, while [the] there is any concentration of alcohol in any specimen of blood taken from any part of his or her body [is not less than 0.05 gram per 100 millilitres, or in the case of a professional driver referred to in section 32, not less than 0.02 gram per 100 millilitres]. (Words that are underlined indicate insertions in the existing legislation, while words in bold type in square brackets indicate omissions from existing legislation.)

This proposed amendment makes it clear that the aim of the legislature is to have a zero tolerance for the use of any alcohol by any vehicle driver.


[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: April 2021. If you are interested in finding out how you can read the rest of the article asking whether alcohol is the main contributor to road crashes; looking at BACs across the world; grey areas in terms of zero tolerance for alcohol and the consequences of driving under the influence, send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..]

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Servamus - April 2021

They are all over our roads, they stop wherever they want to, ignore red traffic lights and are motorists’ worst nightmare.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Desperate to get the Umgeni Municipality’s attention to fix the dangerous potholes on the roads in the Howick area in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, residents participated in a tongue-in-cheek pothole fishing competition at the end of February 2021.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Road crash scenes do not make for a picture to remember.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
It is not unusual to hear or read about a serious or fatal vehicle crash where one of the drivers was under the influence of alcohol.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - April 2021

Read More - Alternative mechanisms required - S v Frederick and Another 2018 (2) SACR 686 (WCC)
Two independent and unrelated matters were referred for review to the High Court in Cape Town (“the review court”), at the same time and by the same magistrate (“the trial court”).
Read More - Booysen v Minister for Safety and Security 2018 (2) SACR 607 (CC)
This is a matter in which Mr Johannes Mongo, who was a SAPS constable reservist, shot and wounded his girlfriend, Ms Elsa Booysen.
Read More In the matter between - Ms Nomachule Gigaba (Née [born]) Mingoma - The applicant; and Minister of Police - the first respondent; Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation - the second respondent (hereinafter referred to as the Hawks); Maj-Gen M O Ngwenya - the third respondent and attached to the Hawks; Capt K M Mavuso - the fourth respondent and attached to the Hawks; Sgt Norton Ndabami - the fifth respondent and attached to the Hawks; National Prosecuting Authority (“The NPA”) - the sixth respondent; and WISE4AFRICA - the seventh respondent. Case number 43469/2020 ZAGPPHC55 dated 11 February 2021, High Court, Pretoria (GP).
The applicant in this matter, Ms Gigaba, is the estranged (Afrikaans: “vervreemde”) wife of the former Cabinet Minister, Mr Malusi Gigaba.

Letters - April 2021

After being side-lined for the past 11 months due to COVID-19, Captain Khumalo is returning to active duty. Captain Khumalo has returned to child-care centres and schools across Cape Town from 17 February 2021, to resume his mission of educating children on safety issues.
Die Bejaardesorgfonds vir afgetrede polisielede het op 5 Maart 2021 ‘n groot geskenk van die Klub79+1 groep in die vorm van ongeveer 600 gebreide blokkies en klaargemaakte komberse ontvang.
April Magazine Cover

Servamus' Mission

Servamus is a community-based safety and security magazine for both members of the community as well as safety and security practitioners with the aim of increasing knowledge and sharing information, dedicated to improving their expertise, professionalism and service delivery standards. It promotes sound crime management practices, freedom of speech, education, training, information sharing and a networking platform.