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16 Oct 2013 13:21
Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage. (Gallo)
Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) has rejected claims that it is encouraging Gauteng motorists to break the law and not pay their e-toll bills.
"Outa has never condoned civil disobedience," chairperson Wayne Duvenage said in statement on Wednesday.
"We do however call for civil courage, a more sustainable manner of active citizenry wherein people can exercise their legal rights to express their disgust at the lack of respect for citizens' input."
He was responding to statements made by Parliament's transport portfolio committee chairperson Ruth Bhengu.
She said calls by the Cosatu and Outa for Gauteng motorists not to pay for the e-tolls undermined the country's Constitution and judiciary.
Duvenage denied making such a statement. He said Outa merely warned the authorities of the many unintended consequences of forcing an irrational and unpopular policy onto South Africans.
'How the people feel'
He said the public had made its stand clear during public engagement sessions held in 2012.
"This was not Outa's doing.
You only have to read the responses to press statements and blog discussions on the subject of e-tolls and you will see how the people feel."
He said the committee was aware of Outa's stance against e-tolling and the fact that its members had presented objections and input to the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project steering committee.
"Outa's legal challenge is one avenue we have conducted to expose the wrongdoings of what it, along with many others, has condemned as an ill-conceived plan which is not in the best interests of society," Duvenage said.
The organisation is expected to make an announcement on Friday regarding its plans.
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