E-toll showdown in High Court today

Industry news

Last week Gauteng's controversial e-tolling highway project was put on hold when parliament agreed to delay the debate of its implementation bill until February 2013.

But there is hope that e-tolling could be scrapped long before that.

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Outa chairman Wayne Duvenage is confident that e-tolls can be halted in court. File photo: Dumisani SibekoThe signs and gantries that Gauteng motorists are getting sick of seeing. Picture: Boxer Ngwenya

At the time of writing on Monday morning, opposition alliance Outa was digging its heels in for what could be e-tolling's final showdown as all parties arrived at the Pretoria High Court.

Outa chairman Wayne Duvenage tweeted that his team feels well prepared to argue a strong case to halt e-tolls. His organization appears more confident than ever:

“We believe our case is strong, we've never felt as positive about our case”

Among other points, Outa is arguing that insufficient public consultation took place, that the e-tolling system is fraught with inefficiencies and that far simpler methods of collection (to settle the R21bn debt) have been ignored.

Outa is also demanding a commission of enquiry following this weekend's new reports of e-toll tender rigging.

Roads agency Sanral's intended implementation of the e-tolling system has hit numerous stumbling blocks this year, most notably the court interdict in April, which ruled that a full review needed to take place.

Even Sanral's latest tariff reduction to 30 cents a kilometre (and R550 monthly cap) was not enough quell public opposition to a system that will undoubtedly lead to widespread financial strain among motorists, particularly the poor.

Cosatu recently announced its plans for a three-phase protest starting on Friday 30 November, which would also entail “closing major freeways” on 6 December and a “mother of all battles” in February next year.

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