President Jacob Zuma. CC image courtesy of the World Economic Forum.
President Jacob Zuma was not required by South Africa’s constitution to seek legal advice pertaining to the application and impact of the e-tolls bill, though he said he did seek advice.
Zuma answered written parliamentary questions by the Democratic Alliance (DA) regarding the controversial bill, which will see the implementation of the e-toll system on Gauteng’s freeways.
The parliamentary questions were raised by Ian Ollis, the shadow minister of transport for the Democratic Alliance (DA), to which Zuma answered he sought legal opinion regarding the constitutionality of the e-tolls Bill.
“The constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, does not require the president to consider, the issues raised in question two and three, before he assents to or signs a bill passed by parliament,” said Zuma.
“Section 79(1) of the constitution requires the president to either assent to or sign the bill passed by parliament or refer it back to the National Assembly for consideration if he has reservations about the constitutionality of the bill.”
Zuma signed the controversial Transport and Related Matters Amendment bill into law last month, giving the highly opposed e-tolling system the green light.
The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) has recently decided to not pursue any further legal challenges in the fight against e-tolling after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) dismissed a prior appeal made by the organisation.