E-tolling by year end: Minister

By Drum Digital
18 September 2013

The transport department was awaiting the promulgation of the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill.

The Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) will still be implemented this year, but the commencement date for e-tolling has yet to be determined, according to Transport Minister Dipuo Peters. Inwritten reply to a parliamentary question, she said the transport department was awaiting the promulgation of the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill.

The bill was with President Jacob Zuma, who still had to sign it into law, she said.

On September 5, the presidency said Zuma was still considering the bill.

"Once he has made a decision, the president will inform Parliament and the public," presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement at the time.

The e-tolls have been challenged by several political parties, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu), and the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa).

In April this year, the SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) said it would begin e-tolling on Gauteng's roads within two months.

The previous April, the High Court in Pretoria granted Outa an interdict approving a full judicial review before electronic tolling could be put into effect. The interdict prevented Sanral from levying or collecting e-tolls, pending the outcome of a review. Sanral and the National Treasury appealed the court order. In September last year, the Constitutional Court set aside the interim order, and, in December, the High Court in Pretoria dismissed Outa's application to scrap e-tolling. The court granted Outa leave on January 25 this year to take the matter to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. The appeal is expected to be heard this month.

-by Sapa

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