File photo: Thobile Mathonsi

Opposition alliance Outa has lashed out at Sanral following last week's announcement, by the Transport Portfolio Committee, that the start of e-tolling was on hold pending the passing of a bill in national assembly, which may take place this month.

Outa chairman Wayne Duvenage exclaimed: "Quite frankly, this is another nonsensical example of what a farce the entire e-Toll matter has become.

"By the Department of Transport's own admission, the ability to start e-Tolling does not rely on this bill to be in place.

"On 15 August 2012, the Department of Treasury's legal team argued with vigour in the Constitutional Court hearings, (in their application to set aside the e-toll interdict), that Sanral's ratings and ability to generate revenues were being negatively impacted by the delay to toll and that Sanral was ready to toll within two weeks of the interdict being set aside".

In light of that, Outa is now asking why it is taking so long to implement e-tolling.

"After all that fuss and the interdict being set aside on 20 September 2012, five months have since passed and Sanral has failed to start tolling. In fact, the first planned e-toll launch date of April 2011 was almost two years ago.

"One would have thought that they should have been ready to launch back then. All this time has passed and Sanral's service providers are still testing their systems and dealing with regulatory matters.

Outa questions whether Sanral has ever been ready to launch its e-tolling plan, and yet the roads agency has often sighted Outa's legal challenge as the reason for its delay and inability to earn revenue.

Source: Outa