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South Africa: End of the road for e-Tolling fight

By Crystal van Vyk
Posted on Friday, 18 October 2013 14:42

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) had been until Friday fighting the government’s bid to introduce e-tolling on Gauteng’s major roads, arguing the move was illegal and meant to disadvantage the poor.

The controversial system that is due to be implemented before the end of this year has been described as unreasonable and impractical by critics.

Trade union federation, Cosatu has been supporting Outa’s legal battle.

However, the legal challenge appeared to have faltered early this month when the Supreme Court of Appeal threw out Outa’s challenge to e-tolls.

“Outa will not appeal the judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal,” said its charismatic chairman, Wayne Duvenage.

“Outa is constrained- we still owe our lawyers R1.8 million and we urged motorists to not buy e-tags”.

Duvenage said it was not illegal to not have an e-tag and they want to educate and mobilise citizens on e-tolling.

Outa said the Supreme Court judgement was largely “technical approach” and the body feels they cannot continue a court fight.

Outa thanked its 12 000 members and 350 businesses for the support during the campaign.

However, the National Roads Agency Ltd said all motorists visiting Gauteng would have to pay using the e-toll roads.

Acording to the Times, news that visitors as well as residents will have to pay has angered trade unions.

“This will make us even more determined to keep up the fight against e-tolling,” said Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven.

Meanwhile the ANC Youth League said the poor and middle class should support the e-toll system so that the country does not default on its finances”.

“We call upon the public to comply with e-toll plans, so that the state does not default,” the youth league leader Mzwandile Masina said.

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