A draft bill has been submitted to Parliament which will bring the legislation governing cross border transport into line with transformation laws.

The Cross Border Road Transport Amendment Bill was referred on Friday to the portfolio transport committee and the select committee on public services.

It says that the board granting permits must take into account the promotion of small businesses, the empowerment of historically disadvantaged people and the broad based black empowerment codes of good practice.

Applicants for permits must also submit a tax clearance certificate.

The bill will also allow the Cross Border Road Transport Agency to levy and collect tolls on behalf of the South African national roads agency (SANRAL).

The agency is to be allowed to levy tolls in order to enable it to harmonise taxes and other charges between South Africa and countries with which it has cross border transport agreements, in collaboration with SANRAL, to ensure uniform road user charges.

“If the agency collects tolls near border posts on behalf of SANRAL, this will avoid the necessity for the latter to duplicate staff and infrastructure,” the explanatory memorandum published with the bill says.

One new clause inserted in the bill will create a presumption of guilt for people charged with undertaking cross-border transport without a permit, if they have been caught picking up or setting down passengers within a kilometre of an international border.

“This,” the memorandum says, “is to facilitate law enforcement.”

Another section also amends the 2000 National Land Transport Transition Act to provide that passengers coming from other states may not be picked up near international borders by operators with domestic operating licences.

Operators have been using this practice to evade the provisions of the act requiring a separate permit for cross border transport.

The length of permits is increased to a maximum of five years, which, the explanatory memorandum on the bill explains, “is to reduce the administrative burden of having to reissue permits at short intervals.”