Picture: SOWETAN
Picture: SOWETAN

BILLBOARDS erected along two major Johannesburg’s freeways next to e-toll charging gantries were commissioned by the Democratic Alliance (DA), the party said on Sunday.

"The billboards are ours," DA Gauteng premiership candidate Mmusi Maimane said.

The billboards, visible along the N3 and N1 freeways, poke fun at the African National Congress (ANC) and its role in the electronic tolling saga. The message reads: "E-tolls. Proudly brought to you by the ANC."

Mr Maimane said the message was "100% accurate" and it was difficult to see why the ANC was upset.

"E-tolls were conceived under the watch of an ANC minister, supported by an ANC executive in Gauteng, passed into law by an ANC majority Parliament, and signed, sealed and delivered by an ANC president," he said.

President Jacob Zuma signed the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill into law last week after waiting more than three months, during which time speculation ran high that the unpopular bill would be held over until after next year’s election.

Mr Maimane added that the ruling party had lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority and with the Independent Electoral Commission.

"It is reported that the ANC has complained about the billboards ... We say, bring it on. We will defend our right to erect these billboards in any forum the ANC chooses," Mr Maimane said.

ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said he noted the DA’s claims and would react later.

Meanwhile, the e-toll bill signed into law last week is set for another legal challenge, with the Freedom Front Plus claiming it was incorrectly processed in Parliament, making it unconstitutional.

The party is heading to the North Gauteng High Court after obtaining a legal opinion earlier this year that found the bill had been improperly tagged and processed, making it unconstitutional.

Department of Transport spokesman Tiyani Rikhotso said the bill was now an act of government and there were no issues surrounding its legality.

With Sapa