E-toll discrepancies must go to court: JPSA

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Copy of PN e-tolls9844

INLSA

Motorists started paying for e-tolls on Gauteng freeways from December 3. Photo: Oupa Mokoena

Johannesburg - The Justice Project SA (JPSA) urged the transport department on Thursday to seek legal clarification as to the validity of conflicting tolls tariffs published in the Government Gazette.

“It is now for the department of transport and Sanral 1/8SA National Roads Agency Limited 3/8 to approach the high court to ratify their claim in the form of a declaratory order,” JPSA chairman Howard Dembovsky said.

The English and Afrikaans versions of e-toll tariff notices published in the Government Gazette differed in the amounts stipulated.

Dembovsky said on Wednesday that this introduced severe problems in interpreting the tariff amounts. He called on the department to repeal the notice and also suggested that motorists might be able to claim e-toll refunds.

The department subsequently responded in a statement released on Wednesday night.

“The noted mistake in question won't affect the validity of the legislation,” department spokesman Tiyani Rikhotso said.

He said the mistake was being corrected and a revised version would soon be published.

On Thursday, however, Dembovsky said the department was trying to “wish away their 'mistakes'“.

He said without legal assertion, the department could not claim that the mistake did not affect the validity of the legislation.

“It is not for anyone to prove the lawfulness of acting under invalid legislation, but for the department to obtain confirmation of the high court as to clarity thereof and enforceability of the administrative action based on conflicting legislation.

“Until so confirmed the public stand to be prejudiced,” said Dembovsky.

Sapa


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