President Jacob Zuma has insulted South Africans today by signing the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill (e-tolls Bill) into law on the very day e-tolling is before the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).
The President has had the Bill under revision since May 2013 and could have waited for the SCA's ruling on the matter. His signing of the Bill into law is therefore premature and disrespectful of the judicial process.
It must be viewed as nothing more than a clear message to the country that he does not care about the wishes of the people of Gauteng.
Indeed, he has not only given support to a policy that faces widespread opposition, but one that will hit the poorest the hardest by increasing the price of doing business, resulting in food price increases and inevitably will undermine economic growth and job creation.
It is now up to the Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, to decide whether she will Gazette the Bill and related regulations into operation, or whether she will listen to the will of the people of Gauteng.
If she Gazette the Bill and regulations, the DA will use every means at its disposal to fight against e-tolling. This is not the end. We have successfully stopped e-tolling where we govern, and can do so again elsewhere.