Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma
is satisfied with the transport laws and related matters amendment bill and sees no stumbling blocks in its implementation, presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj told Fin24.
"The president is satisfied with the bill.”
Zuma has consulted widely, including with his legal advisers, and he sees no further stumbling blocks in its implementation.Zuma signed the bill into law
, the presidency said in a statement on Wednesday. It now sets the wheels in motion for the electronic and cross-border collection of toll fees.
The controversial electronic tolling system of highways in Gauteng has been met with tough resistance, including from ANC alliance partner Cosatu and religious organisations.
"With the enactment of the law, the necessary legislation is now in place to enable e-tolling,” said Maharaj.
The law empowers the minister of transport to gazette regulation for the implementation of e-tolls, he said.
The SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) said the signing of the bill did not come a surprise.
"We welcome the signing of the bill into law,” Sanral spokesperson Vusi Mona told Fin24.
“We have never doubted the commitment of the president to the policies and laws of the government," he said.
The bill was passed by the National Council of Provinces in May
, however e-tolling was slated to begin in April 2011 already.
The majority of registered motorists will pay a monthly fee of only R100
to use Gauteng's freeways, Sanral said in August. This after e-toll tariffs were slashed at least thrice.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of Appeal is hearing an appeal
by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) as it challenges Sanral's decision to breathe life into tolling Gauteng highways at the expense of the public.
Mike Maritz, for Outa, argued that legislation allowed Sanral to explore options other than tolling to fund freeways, reported Sapa on Wednesday.
Sanral also suffered a credit rating downgrade
in September by Moody's Investors Service.
The ratings agency cited deterioration in Sanral's cash flow stemming from the prolonged delay in the realisation of e-toll revenue, it said in a statement at the time.
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