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DOT ‘sneaks’ e-toll Bill to Cabinet
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 07:56
Written by Farzana Rasool
Transport minister Ben Martins has “snuck through” several amendments to the National Road Traffic Regulations, which enable the implementation of the controversial e-tolling system.
Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow minister of transport Ian Ollis alleges Martins has flouted regulatory procedure. “Transport minister Ben Martins is following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Sibusiso Ndebele, by attempting to dodge parliamentary oversight over key traffic regulations.”
He explains that the amendments were put through without being referred to Parliament or allowing sufficient time for public input.
“Chapter XIII, clause 6, of the National Road Traffic Act (NRTA) and Regulations, clearly states that, before the minister makes any regulation, he must first provide a draft of the proposed regulations, to be referred to Parliament for comment. The regulations must then be gazetted and accompanied by a notice calling for comment, objections or representations on the matter within the period specified within the notice, but no less than four weeks (28 days).”
Cabinet, in its ordinary meeting recently, approved the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill, 2012, for submission to Parliament.
“The Bill has been necessitated by the development of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP), as well as future plans for the development of road infrastructure,” says a Cabinet statement on the meeting.
“Apart from the physical infrastructure, the GFIP will result in the operation of a road network that involves the utilisation of ‘intelligent’ transport systems. An important component of the network is the electronic toll collection system.”
The Department of Transport says no regulation amendments were published without going through the correct processes.
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