‘State not fighting public on e-tolls’

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IOL mot jan22 e-toll gantry Independent Newspapers File photo: Ihsaan Haffejee

Cape Town - The e-tolling saga in Gauteng is not a duel between the state and the public, Transport Minister Ben Martins said on Thursday.

“It's not as if the people are on one side and government is on the other side… We have been taken to court and the state has to respond to that case,” he said at a breakfast hosted by The New Age in Cape Town.

He apologised for the “unfortunate chapter” in the first phase of the e-tolling project, which had largely lacked public consultation, and committed himself to making all relevant information available in future.

“There has to be transparency. There has to be information.”

He repeated the message that there would have be some form of payment by road-users.

“We would like to be in a position where all roleplayers can contribute to finding a solution. The cardinal issue is that the solution cannot prevail where absolutely nothing will be paid for roads.

“At the end of the day, we can't just print money. A budget has to be found somewhere.”

Martins said the reality was that the toll gantries were in existence.

The SA National Roads Agency Limited and the National Treasury appealed to the Constitutional Court on Wednesday against an interdict granted in April preventing the implementation of e-tolling on Gauteng's roads.

The High Court in Pretoria ruled that a full review was needed before electronic tolling could be implemented.

The appeal is being opposed by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance, which was granted the interdict.

The Constitutional Court has reserved judgment. - Sapa


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