State’s court bid to fight e-toll order will fail – VaviComment on this story
GAYE DAVIS and SAPA
The government’s application to the Constitutional Court to set aside a court order halting e-tolling will fail.
Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said yesterday: “We have no doubt that the government is going to learn the hard way again with the Constitutional Court when it fails in this application.”
It would likewise fail in its appeal against the judgment by the Pretoria High Court.
“The government is wasting time running in the courts at huge expense to the taxpayers.”
On April 28, the Pretoria High Court handed down an order preventing the SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) from levying or collecting e-tolls pending the outcome of a judicial review.
Last week, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan applied to the Constitutional Court to set aside this court order. Gordhan argued that Judge Bill Prinsloo had ignored the principle of separation of powers.
Vavi rejected this argument.
“In our view it’s a complete false claim… That’s just an attempt to blackmail the judges not to make judgments in the best interests of the law, and the supreme law of the country, which is the constitution.”
Instead of wasting time at courts, the government should be talking to Cosatu to find an alternative way to fund the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.
Cosatu has suggested, as an interim measure, a 14c/litre increase in the fuel levy. Vavi emphasised this would be only a temporary solution. “We will not reveal (the idea for) long-term solution for now because that is subject to discussions with the ANC.”
Meanwhile, it emerged yesterday that the government had refused to accept Sanral CEO Nazir Alli’s resignation. He is likely to return to his post.
The government is also considering pumping money into Sanral to help it service its R20 billion e-tolling debt.