E-tolling may go ahead, rules ConCourt

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria granted the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance an interdict on April 28. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria granted the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance an interdict on April 28. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

"The interim order granted by the high court on 28 April 2012, is set aside," said Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke.

This was because the high court had not considered the separation of powers between the court and the executive.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria granted the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) an interdict on April 28, ruling that a full review needed to be carried out before electronic tolling of Gauteng's highways could be put into effect.

The interdict prevented the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) from levying or collecting e-tolls pending the outcome of a judicial review.

Sanral and National Treasury appealed the court order.

Sanral argued that delays in the project, due to the court's order, prevented it from paying off debts incurred in building gantries.

Massive outcry
A massive public outcry about the tolls was supported by the Congress of South African Trade Unions, which said toll fees on a heavily-used commuter route would financially cripple the public.

The department of transport welcomed the Constitutional Court's ruling .

"The ruling reaffirms government's conviction that the North Pretoria High Court had erred in its judgement which interferes with policy making, a responsibility of the executive," it said in a statement.

"Government respects the right of any member of the public to approach the courts to review its decisions and operations within the country's legal framework."

"Government remains convinced about the appropriateness of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, with the user-pay principle, as part of our country's investment in road infrastructure and our collective drive to grow the economy," it said.

The government will study the judgment and make an announcement on the way forward soon. – Sapa

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