Dr. Neil Campbell, MPL
DA Spokesperson for Roads and Transport in Gauteng
The Minister of Transport has published draft regulations in terms of section 54(1) and section 58(1)(d) and (e) of the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) and National Roads Act,1998 (Act No. 7 of 1998) which seeks to empower the CEO of SANRAL, Nazir Alli, to appoint his own police force to ensure toll compliance on Gauteng freeways.
The regulations allow the CEO to appoint peace officers who will have sweeping powers to stop, search and confiscate any document found in the vehicle, including drivers’ licences, at their sole discretion.
The legality of summarily confiscating a document, required by law to be in a driver’s possession, must be tested. The draft legislation reeks of the arrogant high-handedness which has come to symbolise government’s and SANRAL’s inept handling of the hugely unpopular Gauteng urban tolls.
As actions have been initiated against the tolls in court and with the National Consumer Commission, this legislation could be considered an act of desperation to intimidate motorists into accepting this unjust tax.
At the very best the draft is an over-reaction to the toll dilemma which Mr Alli and the Minister have created for themselves. It’s appalling to create a police force merely to enforce unjust taxes.
The public have a ridiculously inadequate 20 days from 27th March until 16th April to voice their objections to these regulations.
I am sure the Minister will be inundated with written objections which can be sent to:
Director General, Department of Transport for the attention of Mr Trevor Mphahlele at the following address: Email; MphahleT@dot.gov.za