Jack Bloom MPL
The Democratic Alliance in Gauteng welcomes the reported delay by Jacob Zuma in signing the e-toll bill into law because of a procedural flaw.
According to a report in the Mail and Guardian newspaper, Zuma’s lawyers are said to have advised him against signing the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill because it would not survive a challenge in the Constitutional Court. This is because it should have been tagged as a section 76 Bill which would require hearings in the provinces, rather than a section 75 Bill of national competence only.
The DA has always argued that there should have been public provincial hearings on this bill, particularly in Gauteng which is most affected.
Whilst the Mail and Guardian report still has to be confirmed, it would be a wise move for the government to await the outcome of OUTA’s court case to be heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal on 25 and 26 September this year.
Evidence continues to pile up that the e-tolls are administratively unworkable, especially in the face of widespread public opposition.
It is not too late for government to reconsider the e-tolls in favour of a more rational and cost-effective alternative to fund the highways.