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Johannesburg - Outa and Sanral exchanged insults on Friday, sparked by a comment that Gauteng e-tolling would turn roads into death traps.
SA National Roads Agency Limited spokesman Vusi Mona called Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance chairman Wayne Duvenage a liar, but the latter hit back, instructing Mona to “mind his own business”.
The spat started with a statement from Sanral, saying: “On Thursday Outa made the outrageous claim that roads in Johannesburg would become death traps as trucking companies choose to avoid the Gauteng highway network and toll gantries.
“However the Road Freight Association has already refuted this claim and did so again this week.”
Mona said: “It is one thing to fight a legal battle which you believe in but it is another all together to spread lies and incorrect information. Some of it borders on incitement and some of it amounts to shouting 'fire' in a packed cinema hall.”
According to reports on Friday, Duvenage said there was no doubt trucking companies would order their drivers to avoid some of the 42 gantries to avoid paying e-toll fees.
Duvenage told Sapa he stood by his comments.
“You don't have to be a rocket scientist or road engineer to know that tolling does lead to cars and trucks taking routes that are not tolled.”
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein dismissed the latest challenge by Outa to the e-tolling of Gauteng's freeways.
Duvenage said Mona had no right to tell Outa how it should manage its legal challenge.
“He speaks as if the SCA is the final hurdle, (that) we must now accept the judgment, when in fact there is another step we can take to the Constitutional Court.”
Duvenage said Mona erroneously mentioned in the past that the Constitutional Court had already ruled on the case. However, that case only related to a temporary interdict on e-tolling pending a review.
“Outa believes it still has a strong case in regard to the constitutionality of the unlawfulness of Sanral's behaviour relating to e-tolling. Mr Mona should mind his own business and leave us to ours.”
Mona said Sanral had consulted various experts in the planning and construction of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.
“Mr Duvenage is neither an engineer nor a lawyer and we would implore him to stop commenting on issues which fall outside his expertise.
“We would also ask him to refrain from making statements on behalf of various stakeholders without their knowledge or buy-in.”
Duvenage said he never claimed to have specialist expertise.
“I have never claimed to be an engineer or a lawyer, or a hustler, an aspirant road builder or a populist as Mr Mona has called me in the past,” he said
“I also don't need to be any of these, other than a concerned citizen with some foresight to contemplate the unintended consequences in the event that e-tolling is forced onto the public.”