South Africa 3.3.2014 06:00 am

Democratic Alliance to challenge e-tolls Bill

DA's Mmusi Maimane briefs the media on a court case against e-toll legislation taking place this week in Cape Town, Rosebank,  2 March 2014. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

DA's Mmusi Maimane briefs the media on a court case against e-toll legislation taking place this week in Cape Town, Rosebank, 2 March 2014. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

The DA believes it has a strong case to challenge the controversial e-tolling Bill, as the party heads to the Western Cape High Court tomorrow.

DA Gauteng Premier Candidate Mmusi Maimane said he would be court tomorrow to represent residents in the province who expressed opposition to e-tolling.

“We are of the view that the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill, or e-tolling Bill, was incorrectly passed by Parliament and signed into law by President Jacob Zuma,” said Maimane.

“If the case is successful, the e-tolling Bill will need to be sent back to Parliament to deliberate on for a second time. The DA will then oppose the e-tolling Bill in Parliament and every legislature. We will also offer Jacob Zuma’s ANC a chance to vote against the Bill and in favour of the public’s immense opposition to e-tolling.”

He added that the matter would be referred to the Constitutional Court, if the party wins the case, and that e-tolling Bill may be declared unconstitutional.

Sanral spokesperson Vusi Mona said the DA had every right to appeal against the e-tolls Bill.

“As a state owned entity, Sanral abides by the law and will respect the court’s decision on this matter. The e-tolling case has been to court five times now and in four of those instances the courts have ruled in favour of Sanral,” said Mona.

“Unfortunately our detractors, some of whom have styled themselves as champions of the rule of law, have never accepted the court’s rulings. Instead, we have seen some of them question the integrity of the judiciary simply because the decisions did not go in their favour.”

The Freedom Front Plus (FF+) had previously lost its case against the legislation at the North Gauteng High Court, when an urgent application for an interdict against e-tolling failed.

The party claimed that the Bill was initially incorrectly tagged under Section 75 which does not allow for consultation between provinces in Parliament.

Meanwhile, Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) said its preferred option to challenge e-tolling at present was to use the Public Protector to investigate Sanral’s “misleading” claims that more than 1.2 million e-tags had been registered.

“According to the information at our disposal there was only a 29% e-tag penetration by end of February,” said Outa spokesperson John Clarke.

Sanral maintained that 30 000 to 45 000 registrations were taking place per week.

 

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