Alliance aims to make e-tolls 'unworkable'

Protesters against e-tolling South African roads. (Gallo)

Protesters against e-tolling South African roads. (Gallo)

This after it was given the green light for implementation in 2013.

On Thursday, the North Gauteng High Court ruled against an application from Outa to have the decision to implement electronic tolling on Gauteng roads reviewed and set aside.

Judge Louis Vorster dismissed the application and ordered Outa to pay the defendants' costs. This follows another costs order from the Constitutional Court earlier this year.

The applicants asked that the decision to implement e-tolling by South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) be reviewed and set aside, as well as the minister and department of transport's decision to approve it.

In handing down the judgment, Vorster said he could not agree with the applicants that the agency had failed to comply with the Sanral Act. The Act specifically requires public participation, but this only applies to the physical aspects of tolling.

"Matters of financial policy fall with the government" and were not open to public participation, Vorster said. He added that there had been enough notice and that various government documents had, since 1996, recorded that electronic tolling was a possibility.

Sanral chief executive Nazir Alli was delighted with the decision. "There have been a lot of lies and a lot of half-truths," he said, urging people to respect the court's decision.

Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage doubted that Sanral would be ready to implement the system in February. "We call on Gauteng motorists not to buy e-tags, because legally they are not obliged to do so."

Lisa Steyn

Lisa Steyn

Lisa Steyn is a business reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She holds a master's degree in journalism and media studies from Wits University. Her areas of interest range from energy and mining to financial services and telecommunication. When she is not poring over annual reports, Lisa can usually be found pottering about the kitchen. Read more from Lisa Steyn

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