NewsSouthern AfricaSouth Africa's e-tolling system faces stiff opposition


Posted on Thursday, 06 June 2013 12:21

South Africa's e-tolling system faces stiff opposition

By Crystal van Vyk

Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) says it will continue its opposition to South African government’s controversial road e-tolling system in Gauteng province©Reuters file photoA South African lobby group has vowed to press on with its opposition to the government's controversial road e-tolling system in Gauteng province despite mounting legal costs.


Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) says it is not unfazed by an announcement by the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) that e-tolling will be rolled out within two months.

Wayne Duvenage, a spokesperson for the group on Wednesday said about R1 million was needed in the three weeks to fight the introduction of the system in the courts.

"There is a very real chance, if we do not get this money, this matter will not be heard," Duvenage said.

Outa has until June 21 to raise the money.

It had so far raised R8.4 million through donations but still owes about R3 million in legal fees.

Without the R1m payment to lawyers, the case might not go ahead.

Outa's fight started last year, and in a victory to consumers, last April, the High Court in Pretoria granted the group an interdict approving a full judicial review before electronic tolling could be implemented.

The interdict prevented Sanral from levying or collecting e-tolls pending the outcome of the review.

Sanral and the National Treasury appealed against the court order.

In September last year, the Constitutional Court set aside the interim order.

But Outa was determined to continue the fight although in December, the Pretoria High Court dismissed the group's application to scrap e-tolling.

An appeal against the ruling by Outa will be head by the Supreme Court of Appeal in September.

Outa said the might have to drop its court challenge if it does not raise more money.

Meanwhile, the South Africa Catholic Bishops' Conference has called on the government "not to go ahead with the project".

The Black Management Forum (BMF) in Gauteng said it wanted to dispel the notion that it was only "fair skinned" people who had an interest in the case.

"It is going to increase the general cost of living," BMF said.

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