DA criticises e-toll appeal plans

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feb 23 iol gauteng toll

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Cabinet has provided further details of the new toll fees related to the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project. Photo: Dumisani Sibeko

 

Cabinet's decision to appeal the High Court in Pretoria's interim order halting the implementation of e-tolling is “foolish and doomed to fail”, the DA said on Thursday.

The interim order issued by Judge Bill Prinsloo was unlikely to be overturned, as sound reasons had been given for it, Democratic Alliance spokesman Jack Bloom said.

“Government's appeal will just drag out the court proceedings, creating further uncertainty in the credit markets.”

He was puzzled by the government's hard line as the SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) had itself indicated it would not appeal the case.

“It would be far better if government cancelled the e-toll collection contract, rather than continue with a long, drawn-out court battle,” he said.

Cabinet spokesman Jimmy Manyi said earlier that the government would appeal the interim order. He said the government only received a written copy of the April 28 judgment late on Wednesday.

“As we are sitting here, our lawyers are studying the judgment and will advise the executive in due course,” he told a fortnightly post-Cabinet briefing.

“Cabinet reiterated its commitment to the user pays principle and its decision on e-tolling as an efficient mechanism of collection.”

Manyi said Cabinet also made plain it would not allow embattled Sanral to default on the debt it incurred to complete 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 GFIP. Defaulting on our debt is simply not an option.” - Sapa


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