Ministers Ndebele and Carlisle Express Continued Support for Breath Alcohol Testing | Western Cape Government


Ministers Ndebele and Carlisle Express Continued Support for Breath Alcohol Testing

13 October 2011

I would like to place on record my continued support for the use of evidentiary breath alcohol testing, not just in the Western Cape, but throughout South Africa. In particular, I reiterate my belief in the Dräger Alcotest, a particular breath alcohol detection device which was the subject of legal scrutiny in this case.

There have been numerous reports in the media conveying an impression that the Cape High Court judgement represents a defeat for the Dräger and for breathalyser technology in general. The reality could not be further from the truth. What Judge Nathan Erasmus has bequeathed to our society and generations to come is a rock-solid foundation for using this device for the accurate detection of alcohol in suspected drunk drivers, and indeed the Judge has called us to action through his statement that "it ought not only be used, but prioritised".

This will save countless lives, and will serve as a lodestone for the implementation of ever-improving technologies in the fight against this scourge.

Judge Nathan Erasmus is to be commended on a profound work of jurisprudence and the skill and thoroughness displayed in its preparation bode well for the future of justice where road safety is concerned. Those who are caught driving over the alcohol limit and attempt to evade justice will not find solace in this judgement.

Judge Erasmus has laid out some changes that must be made. These are administrative matters that relate to application of the test, keeping of records and calibration of the devices.

Under Western Cape Provincial Minister, Robin Carlisle, we have assembled the best possible team to make these changes, consisting not only of traffic officials and experts from across all three tiers of government, but also Advocate Sasha Curic, who assisted Judge Erasmus with the judgement as assessor, and thus the person most familiar with its contents other than the Judge himself. This team has already begun its work.

We will make the required changes as soon and as thoroughly as possible. Once the changes are in place, there will be nowhere to hide for drunk drivers.

Yours faithfully,

Sibusiso Ndebele
Minister of Transport
Republic of South Africa

Media Enquiries: 

Logan Maistry
Spokesperson for Minister Ndebele
Cell: 083 644 4050

Steven Otter
Media Liaison Officer for Minister Carlisle
Cell: 084 233 3811