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SA should vote on e-tolls - law expert

Johannesburg -

A constitutional law expert has called on the government to hold a referendum on the e-tolls project, according to a report on Wednesday.

The SA National Road Agency Limited has jumped the gun by announcing the controversial Gauteng e-tolling system would be launched in two months and this has angered some in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and Cosatu. File photo: Boxer Ngwenya. Credit: Independent Newspapers

By holding a referendum on the controversial issue, the government would demonstrate an interest in people's opinions on the matter, constitutional law expert Professor Marinus Wiechers told Beeld newspaper.

“It is necessary for the government to have a referendum in this instance, particularly because the constitution makes provision for it.”

He said although the constitution made provision for it, there were no regulations prescribing how a referendum in South Africa should be held.

“People in Gauteng have complained that there has not been enough public consultation on the issue. A referendum would be the most democratic way to determine an outcome,” Wiechers said.

Maplakala Motloung, spokesman for the Gauteng premier's office, declined to comment on whether the government might consider a referendum.

The Pretoria High Court on January 25 granted the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) leave to appeal its ruling that e-tolls can go ahead.

A date for the appeals court hearing has yet to be set. - Sapa

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