Provinces must participate in the making of e-toll legislation
Watty Watson, Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance
10 October 2012
On Friday 5 October the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill - “e-toll legislation” was tabled at Parliament and proposed to be dealt with in terms of Section 75 of the Constitution as a Bill affecting the National level only.
The Bill’s proposed initiatives will however have vast financial and administrative implications for provinces. The very nature of this Bill is aimed at restructuring current legislation to allow, amongst other things, the implementation of tolling initiatives in various provinces, in particular Gauteng.
It is therefore essential that provincial structures be afforded the opportunity to consider proposals that will ultimately directly impact on its functions and responsibilities.
The introduction of this Bill in terms of Section 75 of the Constitution undermines the right of provincial legislatures to provide their NCOP delegates with a voting mandate based on thorough deliberation and public participation.
I have written to the Speaker to express my considered opinion that this Bill be classified in the appropriate form of a Section 76 Bill so that both Houses of parliament have the opportunity to review its contents and conduct adequate public participation.
It is critical that Parliament invoke an inclusive legislative process to enable all those potentially affected by the proposed “e-toll legislation” to have their say, in line with Parliament’s mandate.