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Parliamentary committee condemns Outa, Cosatu's e-tolls reaction

Sapa

Parliament's transport portfolio committee says Cosatu and Outa's call for motorists not to pay for e-tolls in Gauteng defies the Constitution.

Parliament's transport portfolio committee urged both e-tolling opposers to prove their respect for the law by accepting the decision made by the courts. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Calls by Cosatu and the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) for Gauteng motorists not to pay for the e-tolls are undermining the country's Constitution and judiciary, Parliament's transport portfolio committee said on Tuesday.

"The committee is concerned that these two organisations are encouraging citizens not to abide by an Act of Parliament and thus defy the Constitution of the country," committee chairperson Ruth Bhengu said in a statement.

It said the recent signing of the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill ensured that the South African Roads Agency Limited would pay back loans it made from government.

"The committee is thus greatly concerned that following unsuccessful legal challenges to the user-pay model, these organisations are resorting to unlawful means to voice their disapproval," Bhengu added.

She said Outa did not submit any objection or make inputs to the final Bill to ensure it was representative of their views.

'Disapproval of the Bill'
"It is within this constitutionally guaranteed process that the organisation had the chance to voice their disapproval of the Bill and not to wait for its finalisation and then discourage citizens."

"[We are] convinced that these statements are Outa and Cosatu's way of undermining decisions made by the judiciary and as such undermines [the] Constitution."

Bhengu urged both e-tolling opposers to prove their respect for the law by accepting the decision made by the courts.

"The committee maintains its view that the Gauteng freeway improvement project is an important part of efforts to develop an integrated transport model which is central in transforming [the] economy." – Sapa

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