It would appeal the interim interdict to halt e-tolling, cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said at a post-Cabinet media briefing in Parliament. The government had “borrowed money and incurred significant debt” through the Gauteng freeway improvement project (GFIP).
“As a country, we need to demonstrate unequivocal commitment to meet all our contractual obligations, including repaying the debt incurred in the construction of the GFIP,” Manyi said. “Defaulting on our debt is simply not an option.”
The North Gauteng High Court granted a temporary interdict against the launch of e-tolling at the end of April, requiring a full review of the project before it could go ahead.
“It is sad to see that in the face of such overwhelming public opposition to the unjustifiably high-cost e-toll method of collecting money to pay for the Gauteng freeway improvement project, the government is persisting in its stance,” said Howard Dembovsky, chairperson of Justice Project South Africa.
The interim court order had made the point that noncompliance by road users would cause an administrative nightmare because of huge numbers of summonses having to be processed on a daily basis, Dembovsky said.
In light of the delay caused by the court proceedings, the government was exploring interim measures to assist the South African National Roads Agency to meet its financial obligations, Manyi said.