The Constitutional Court emphasized Parliament’s role in usurping the functions of local government when it refused to affirm the Supreme Court’s ruling that the Artaud Act was invalid.
The case was brought by the organization Undo Tax Overruns (Outa) which asked the Supreme Court to uphold the Pretoria High Court’s ruling that the act was unconstitutional and invalid.
Ohta argued that the passage of the Artaud Act fell outside the purview of parliament as it was the power of regional governments to make such legislation.
She also argued that Artaud’s law transcended the exclusive executive functions of the domestic sphere of government.
In his unanimous ruling, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said that regional and local governments share their own legislative powers, but that parliament can override some of those powers.
According to the Constitution, the provincial legislature has the power to pass legislation within the functions listed in Schedules 4 and 5. The road traffic regulations are in Schedule 4 and in Parts A and B of Schedule 5 of the Constitution.
However, Article 44 of the Constitution provides that Parliament has the power to pass legislation in respect of matters listed in Schedule 4 and 5 and to assign any legislative powers, except for amending the Constitution, to the local or regional government.