1 minute read
13 Mar 2014
6:39 pm

ANC welcomes tolls ruling

The ANC has welcomed a judgment dismissing an application challenging the constitutionality of e-tolling legislation.

FILE PICTURE: E-toll objectors gather before taking part in a mass protest drive along the tolled highways. Picture: Michel Bega

“The African National Congress welcomes today’s ruling by the Western Cape High Court to reject the DA’s latest challenge of the Sanral [Act] and National Roads Act,” spokesman Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.

“The ANC maintains that the DA’s challenge is disingenuous political opportunism to score political points using e-tolls as a pretext.”

The Democratic Alliance approached the Western Cape High Court after the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill was enacted in September last year.

The amendments were primarily intended to facilitate the electronic monitoring of traffic through toll plazas and the electronic collection of the tolls.

The DA had argued the amendments were unconstitutional and invalid because they had not been passed according to what it deemed to be proper procedure, which would be with input from the provinces.

Western Cape High Court Judge Owen Rogers dismissed the application on Thursday and said it was clear in his mind that provincial legislatures had no power to pass legislation aimed at meeting the purposes identified in the act.

The DA was not ordered to pay costs because Rogers believed the case had raised “genuine and substantive constitutional issues”.

Mthembu said the courts had further seen through the DA’s consistent attempts to undermine the decisions of Parliament which they are part of, subverting its mandate and reversing the decisions of the Executive.

“The ANC remains convinced that the user-pay principle – accepted by the DA in their policy documents as a principle – is the fairest and most practical way to fund the high quality transport infrastructure required in Gauteng by citizens and businesses,” he said.