South Africa 22.10.2013 06:20 am

E-tolls: JZ covered his bases

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

President Jacob Zuma had previously sought legal advice on the constitutionality of the controversial e-toll Bill which has been signed into law.

Zuma made this clear yesterday in a written reply to parliamentary questions posed by the Democratic Alliance.

The Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill essentially gives Transport Minister Dipuo Peters the signal to allow the SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) to begin e-tolling on Gauteng’s major highways.

The Freedom Front Plus is currently considering a possible High Court application to have the Bill declared unconstitutional.

The party’s legal team is in the process of formulating an opinion about the road ahead. Peters has previously stated that e-tolling could go ahead by the end of the year.

Zuma signed the Bill on September 21 before jetting off to New York to address the 69th session of the General Assembly at the United Nations.

The public were made aware four days later amid a Supreme Court of Appeal matter against e-tolls, that Zuma had penned his signature.

Another question required answers on whether Zuma sought any advice on the practical application of the Bill and on and the impact it had on job creation and the poor.

Zuma replied that the Constitution did not require the president to consider the issues raised by the questions, before he assents a Bill passed by Parliament.

Section 79 of the Constitution required the president to either assent the Bill passed by Parliament or send it back to National Assembly for consideration.

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) has abandoned all legal avenues to halt e-tolls.

It was announced last week that Outa has run out of money to fund its cause.

 

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