Appeal against e-tolls set for Friday

2013-01-22 08:50

The High Court in Pretoria will hear an application to appeal against e-tolling on Friday.

“Outa remains committed to this case, which largely seeks to protect citizen’s constitutional rights, along with challenging the onerous, expensive, inefficient and cumbersome matters related to the decision to toll Gauteng’s freeways,” the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) said in a statement today.

The appeal follows a judgment on December 13 by the High Court in Pretoria, which dismissed Outa’s application to have the electronic tolling of Gauteng’s major roads scrapped.

The court ordered Outa to pay the legal costs of the application. Outa said it also intended appealing this order.

Outa was raising funds for the appeal, and called on business and the public to lend their support.

“We are heartened by the fact that society has helped us raise R8 million to date, however we are still R2.5 million short to cover current costs and still require an estimated R15 million for the appeal process.”

Previously, Outa chairman Musa Strachan said the organisation believed it had strong grounds for appeal.

The constitutional interpretation of Section 27 of the Sanral Act required that the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) should have given adequate notice to the public of the proposed project.

“Public participation requires that sufficient information about the project must be provided .... such that those impacted are empowered with knowledge and time to have the ability, if so required, to exert a possible effect on the outcome of the decision,” he said.

Strachan said in the e-tolling case, public participation was not possible “yet the court ruled that public engagement was sufficient and adequate”.

In this regard, Outa maintains that procedural and objective fairness had not been applied, making e-tolls introduction unlawful, he said.

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