Final arguments on e-tolls are due

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IOL pic nov27 etoll case Independent Newspapers Arguments regarding the implementation of e-tolling in Gauteng are expected to continue in the Pretoria High Court.

Johannesburg - Final arguments over the implementation of electronic tolling in Gauteng are expected to be heard in the Pretoria High Court on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the court heard that the public outcry against the tolling of the province's highways was related to the tariffs, not the system itself.

Vincent Maleka, for the transport department, said the South African National Roads Agency Limited’s (Sanral) notice of intention to toll roads had received the transport minister's approval.

He was responding to argument submitted by Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) lawyer Mike Maritz on Monday, that the implementation of tolls was unlawful and that Sanral's initial notice to toll roads in Gauteng was “sterile” and “misleading”.

He said the transport minister consulted the public and considered the cost of e-tolling when he approved the upgrade to Gauteng's highways.

David Unterhalter, for Sanral, argued that all relevant civil society organisations representing Gauteng motorists knew about e-tolling and the user-pay principle when the project started in 2008, but did nothing until the tariffs were announced in 2011.

In September, the Constitutional Court overturned an interim order which had put a hold on the e-tolling project.

The Constitutional Court found the Pretoria High Court had not considered the separation of powers between the high court and the executive.

The High Court ruled on April 28 that a full review needed to be carried out before e-tolling could be implemented.

Sanral and the National Treasury appealed against the court order, and said delays prevented the payment of the R21-billion incurred in building the system. - Sapa

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