SA referendum on e-tolling suggested, law expert agrees

A constitutional law expert has added his voice in support of the Democratic Alliance (DA) suggestion that South Africans should vote for or against the implementation of the e-tolling system.

“It is necessary that the government holds a referendum in this case, especially because the constitution makes provision for it,” Professor Marinus Wiechers, a constitutional expert said, as reported by Die Beeld.

Whereas there is no lawful obligation, Wiechers feels there is nothing that keeps the government from taking this step.

The expert explained that opening votes will allow the process to be “transparent” and “open”.

South African laws do not specify any criteria on the requirements of conducting a referendum.

Wiechers responded to a letter issued by the DA in the Gauteng province, urging the government to declare a referendum.

Political opposition party DA also launched a petition yesterday (Wednesday) where citizens of the province were encouraged to tweet, SMS or Facebook in favour of a referendum.

“People in Gauteng often say there were too few public consultations regarding the system. A referendum will be the most democratic manner how to decide on the matter,” Wiechers said.

“We hope to get one million votes from Gauteng motorists to add to our e-tolling petition,” he added.

Thabo Masebe, spokesperson of the Sub-minister of Transport, told Die Beeld the request should be aimed at the National Department of Transport as it considers the national roads.

The e-tolling tug of war has raged on, continuing after appeal was granted on January 25 in the High Court in Pretoria to Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA).

HumanIPO reported on the latest progress as OUTA called the governmental claims of the readiness of the e-tolling system a disgrace.

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