Pressure from the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) and ANC politicians made Zuma sign the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill — paving the way for e-tolling – into law.
This is according to report in the City Press.
On 25 September 2013 the presidency announced that Zuma signed the bill, arguing that the “act will provide more effectively for the collection of toll … and to empower the Cross-Border Road Transport Agency to collect toll on behalf of Sanral.”
The Democratic Alliance (DA) slated Zuma’s decision, calling it an act of cowardice and against the will of the people.
“Our president chose to make this announcement far away from the people of this province. It was an act of cowardice for which we cannot forgive him,” said the DA’s Mmusi Maimane.
The City Press reported that the signing was a foregone conclusion, and that the decision to sign the e-toll bill was taken “long before the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) went to court to oppose its implementation”.
“By embarking on another consultation, government wanted to show that it was listening to the objections on the bill. But the die was cast long ago, when (Sanral) signed the contracts and borrowed money with government guarantees,” the City Press quoted an official as saying.
Outa said on Thursday that it was unwise of Zuma to sign the e-tolling bill into law.
“Outa is surprised at this decision, bearing in mind that recent reports indicate the presidency was going to take some time to consider the questions relating to the correct tagging of the bill before signing it into law,” chairman Wayne Duvenage said.
Outa was currently awaiting the outcome of the Supreme Court of Appeal’s (SCA) ruling on its appeal against e-tolling.