The delays in implementing the e-toll system will end up costing the public more, according to a report on Saturday.

The State would lose money if the SA National Roads Agency Limited does not pay its R20 billion debt for building the roads, Vunani group economist Johan Rossouw told the Beeld newspaper.

“Ultimately the taxpayers will have to pay. There is no such thing as a free lunch.”

Efficient Group economist Dawie Roodt told the newspaper that e-tolling had become a political issue and that investing in South Africa would become less attractive as a result.

“The perception is being created that the government can not manage its projects and could do more damage,” he said.

On Thursday, the transport department announced that e-tolling would be postponed for a month.

A ruling by the High Court in Pretoria was expected on Saturday on whether the e-tolling of Gauteng highways would go ahead next month .

An application was made this week by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) for an urgent interdict to stop the launch of the system, so that a full court review could be carried out to decide if it should be scrapped or not. - Sapa