Record of e-toll decision needed – Alliance

2012-04-28 14:20

The next step in the legal battle against e-tolling will be to secure a full record of how the R20 billion project came about, the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance said.

“We will go to court to get a full record,” Alliance chairman Wayne Duvenage told reporters today in Pretoria.

“We are entitled to ask for the record...”

It was unclear when the Alliance would go to court for the record, or how long the court review process would take. The High Court in Pretoria granted an urgent interdict on Saturday to halt the contentious e-toll project in Gauteng.

“People are held captive by the toll roads,” said Judge Bill Prinsloo, delivering judgment on the Alliance’s application.

“I make the following order... the first respondent (SA National Roads Agency) is interdicted and restrained from levying and collecting tolls,” said the judge, to applause from the public gallery.

After being postponed five times, the e-toll system will now have to wait for the outcome of a court review.

Duvenage said it could take two to three months before the review started.

The Alliance’s lawyer Pieter Conradie said Saturday’s win was legal history. “History was made for the people of South Africa,” he said. “Government must realise the court is there to protect people and government must realise they serve the people and not the other way round.”

Duvenage said the Alliance appreciated the support the organisation had received. There were times when he thought it was a “far too big a mountain to climb” and take on government.

In his judgment Prinsloo said that while he realised the ruling would put financial strain on Sanral, it was clear that many South African citizens would suffer financial hardship if it went ahead.

Prinsloo said he was aware that there must be thousands, if not tens of thousands, who must use the toll roads and would suffer financially as a result.He also bemoaned a lack of good alternative transport.

This week, the National Treasury warned that halting the e-toll project would have “serious negative implications for future financing of roads and investment in public transport”. 

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