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Concourt set to hear e-toll dispute

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sanral retrenchment

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This e-toll shop in Irene Mall is ready for business, but has been quiet since the April court ruling. Photo: Sizwe Ndingane

The Constitutional Court would hear arguments as to why it should overturn an interim interdict preventing e-tolling in Gauteng from going ahead, the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance said yesterday.

“It’s on Wednesday and (the alliance) is very prepared for the case,” chairman Wayne Duvenage said. “All the paperwork is done and counsel are prepared for argument on Wednesday.

“We trust that the panel of judges will see the merit of our case and keep the interdict in place until the full review has happened in November,” Duvenage said.

According to the interdict granted by the Pretoria High Court on April 28, a full review first needs to be carried out before electronic tolling of Gauteng’s highways can be implemented.

The SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) and the National Treasury are appealing against the order. The alliance, which was granted the interdict, will oppose.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan applied to the Constitutional Court to set aside the court order preventing Sanral from implementing e-tolling.

Gordhan argued that Judge Bill Prinsloo had ignored the principle of the separation of powers. He said the decision to halt e-tolling would negatively affect the economy.

In its reply, the alliance said Sanral was still not ready to launch the project.

Earlier this week, the DA said it had applied to join the Constitutional Court case. “The DA has an interest in the key issue in this case, namely the extent to which courts can and should exercise their powers to interdict government,” DA MPL Jack Bloom said.

The party had asked to be admitted as a friend of the court to make a “substantive contribution” to the case. “The alliance has not opposed our application, but Sanral and the National Treasury have indicated their opposition,” he said.

“If government wins, then expect to see more decisions like the e-tolls pushed through without proper consultation.”

The Pretoria court will hear further arguments in the e-toll case on November 26.

Under the project, motorists will pay more than R0.35/km to use some of Gauteng’s major roads. It was due to start on April 30, but was postponed after a meeting between the ANC and Cosatu. – Sapa

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