A new bill considered by government after the failure of the Gauteng e-toll system, serves as proof that the FF Plus’s initial legal opinion and its continued criticism of the system were spot on, says Adv Anton Alberts, chairperson of the FF Plus.
The government has just announced that the South African National Roads Agency Limited and National Roads Amendment Bill will replace the old toll act, which had numerous shortcomings and caused a great deal of dissatisfaction among the general public.
One of the proposed changes to the act is that it must make provision for greater participation by provincial and municipal authorities, just like with a section 76 act that grants provinces some capacity when a new act is compiled.
It was admitted that the public consultation process as contained in the previous act was inadequate; yet another issue raised by the FF Plus numerous times in the past.
“The fact that the new Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi, realises what the serious problems with the Gauteng e-toll system are and is now trying to address these problems by means of the amendment bill is encouraging and we hope that it will prevent any such problems with toll roads in the future.
“The FF Plus is of the opinion that no province will attempt to declare any road a toll road without careful consideration after the e-toll system in Gauteng was met with so much resistance from the general public.
“It is also important to note that the new amendment bill stipulates that alternative routes must be identified and made available when a toll road is declared. This did not happen when the toll roads in Gauteng were planned and it resulted in serious traffic problems,” says Adv Alberts.
Contact numbers: 082 391 3117 / 065 801 7216