News24

Hiccup for e-toll opponents

2012-04-24 22:36

Pretoria - Efforts to stop e-tolling experienced a hiccup on Tuesday when the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria dismissed an attempt to submit amended court documents relating to toll fee exemptions.

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa), one of four applicants, argued in an amended affidavit filed on Saturday that tolling could not go ahead on 30 April because exemptions for public transport were not in place.

Alistair Franklin, for the applicants, wanted the tariffs reviewed and set aside.

However, Judge Bill Prinsloo struck the amended affidavit from the roll and ordered the applicants to pay the "wasted" costs.

David Unterhalter, for the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), had asked for the new affidavit to be struck from the roll.

"Once the applicants move the case... to the tariff determination, we are dealing with a different case. Everyone must be given an opportunity to respond," he argued.

Jeremy Gauntlett, for the National Treasury, argued that the new amendments to the case broadened its scope to such an extent that his client would be prejudiced.

The Treasury was admitted as the seventh respondent in the matter on Tuesday.

Gauntlett said the respondents, including the transport minister, were prejudiced by the approach of Outa and other applicants, in filing their amended affidavit at the 11th hour, leaving little time for the respondents to prepare.

"They are trying to raise these additional points now on a tacit premise... that it's urgent," Gauntlett said.

Gauntlett said the dispute over the Gauteng tolls tariffs was a "small tail wagging a large dog".

Too late

Arguing the urgency of the application itself, Unterhalter said the opponents of Gauteng's tolling system were far too late in bringing their court action. The toll roads were declared in 2008.

"I know of no other case where four years after the event the applicants come along and try to invoke the court's power."

He said the applicants had created their own urgency. They would still have their day in court, but it would be at another time.

Unterhalter was asking for the dismissal of the application.

He said litigation had to get underway within a reasonable time, which would have been 180 days after the declaration of the toll roads.

The applicants knew tolling had been decided on as the preferred means to raise funding for Gauteng's freeway improvement project, after other options had been considered.

Only the issue of tariffs was up for discussion.

On 4 February 2011, the first notice announcing the tariffs was published. This was followed by a public outcry and the government's establishment of a steering committee to review the fees.

Vincent Maleka, lawyer for the transport minister and Gauteng transport MEC, said Outa was not entitled to another postponement of the e-tolling system.

The scheme had already been postponed four times since April 2011.

"There must be an extraordinarily good reason to postpone the scheme again," said Maleka.

Funding issue

However, Franklin argued that Outa could bring legal action only after the tariffs had been announced in February 2011.

He said Outa and the other applicants trying to stop the tolling became aware that the system would start on 30 April, only when it was announced in the Budget on 22 February.

The applicants supported the need to upgrade Gauteng's roads, but were against how this would be funded.

"The applicants attack the funding method that was adopted, that is all."

Franklin rejected arguments that the applicants could still have their day in court, even if their attempt to halt the tolls failed and the scheme went ahead on Monday.

"There is a very real prejudice motorists will suffer should this scheme turn out to be unlawful. It [this application] is urgent because if this relief is not given before 30 April, the horse will have bolted."

He said road users would pay more in toll tariffs than the actual cost of the freeway upgrades.

"Sanral has only now, in 2012, put in place all the legislative building blocks that authorise it to collect toll," said Franklin.

Sanral had also not provided the terms and conditions of its contract.

Prinsloo said he would hear further arguments and give judgment on the urgency of the matter on Wednesday.

Comments
  • Kobus - 2012-04-24 22:56

    No matter the outcome, I'm still not buying an e-tag!

      wbrummer1989 - 2012-04-25 07:47

      If I become President.... There will be no E-toll!!!!

      deabreu - 2012-04-25 08:12

      I wish this was true Kobus. Unless we live in a DA province, the government does NOT care about the "little people", and this means everyone except those in power. The ANC has too much power, and too much power in a government means too little power for the sheep, the pawns -us, the "people". Taxes ARE being collected from the tolls! Each person that works on the toll system is taxed, every cent that is made from toll roads will get taxed, just like any other business. The government then use OUR tax money to pay for their trips on roads, it is an "official" expense, which means that not a single ANC politician will have to pay their own toll fees, but we will pay for them, with the tax money they just took from the toll system iteslf. How ironic. More sad is that ppl still vote for a government that are so clever at playing with emotions (the race card being their favourite).

      theO rAcLe - 2012-04-25 08:26

      DO NOT REGISTER FOR E-TAG.......

      Stephen - 2012-04-25 10:26

      I'm with you my man 101%

  • FinallyOn - 2012-04-24 22:56

    Damn!!!

  • Boy Bana - 2012-04-24 23:05

    i also refuse to buy the tag. i will rather use the alternate routes. getting frm eastrand to the westrand. i pass 4 toll gantries. the same returning. sanral is crzy

      Kon - 2012-04-25 07:33

      This is just what "they" want you to do.The more folk that use alternative roads the faster the tolled roads will become and drivers wont mind paying to get to their destinations faster.

      theO rAcLe - 2012-04-25 08:38

      DO NOT REGISTER FOR E-TAG.......

  • Bobo - 2012-04-24 23:12

    Four years ago I didn`t own a truck I had no employees on my banana farm...Today I have truck and lots of bananas and employees, but being taxed to death...DOWN WITH SANRAL ! DOWN WITH ANC DICTATORSHIP ! I WILL NOT VOTE ANC ! U STEAL MY MONEY U LOOSE MY VOTE ! NXA MAN ! Go back to Robben Island !

  • Serame - 2012-04-24 23:28

    Sanral can argue for all they want..The public didnt guarantee the repayments of this debt...There is no way i'm going to buy an e-tag..I pass x2 tolls on my way to work nad that makes it x4tolls retur,plus petrol,insurance,traffic fines,car-service,parkling,and some few coins for beggars..its bcoming more and more expensive to own a car in this country..NO-TO E-TOLLS.

      Tim - 2012-04-25 07:04

      oh please stop whining. 4 tolls is like 5 bucks.. what about the others who go through 10 chantries one way

      Hugh - 2012-04-25 10:26

      Tim, so what? Must he capitulate just because he goes through fewer tolls then someone else? Dont be a turd.

      Brad - 2012-04-25 11:22

      Haha Just went onto the toll calculator and I pass 9 gantries to work, that's 18 a day! R50 a day! From Willianm Nicol to Griffiths.

  • Tim - 2012-04-24 23:44

    If you can't beat em, join em. Either way the government is going to use us to pay back the billions.

      winston.mullany - 2012-04-25 07:36

      And thats the problem! South Africans like to moan but still keep eating all the sh*t government keeps shovelling into our mouths and we gladly ask for more. And you are one of those people. We don't work for the government, the government works for us, its about time the public realizes that. Until we all grow a backbone, the government will always bend us over!

      Konstabel - 2012-04-25 09:30

      @Tim, the point is that we will have to pay back many times more with e-Tolling as it is such an expensive way to collect money. They have admitted that 70% of the funds collected from tolls will be spent on operating the e-toll system. This is utter madness. Any business in a competetive environement that spends 70% of it's revenue on collections is bankrupt within months.

      Hugh - 2012-04-25 10:26

      Sorry, I retract my previous comment. You are a turd.

  • Judy Judeel Heyns - 2012-04-24 23:50

    I refuse to buy an e-tag. How will they send fines to 10mil road users? Not to be funny but dumpster trucks and cargo trucks are the ones messing up the roads. I think my polo can travel the same road 10 000 times more than one truck does one journey and I still won't cause the same amount of damage one truck does. Roads aren't even finished yet either. Travelling from Krugersdorp to Heidelberg is nerve wrecking and a mess. Away wit SANRAL and their Tolling fees!

      theO rAcLe - 2012-04-25 08:38

      DO NOT REGISTER FOR E-TAG.......

  • AdeleFHM - 2012-04-24 23:53

    The government always gets their way- We have no rights!!! Way too late, sigh!

      Konstabel - 2012-04-25 09:34

      Don't give up Adele. Fight this by not getting and e-Tag. They were hoping that 80% get a tag and then they could try and collect some of the remaining 20% and write off the rest. If 80% don't have an e-Tag they are in big trouble as they don't have a fully automated system that can handle this. This is why they are panicing and coming up with all these ridiculous threats.

  • Marius - 2012-04-25 00:14

    South Africa is going to put themself in an ditch, when the e-tol comes into play, people in South Africa will not be free to enjoy this wonderful country because you would have to spend your whole salary paying your travaling costs, there will be more road accidents which will cause deaths and broken families just because Sanral did not research properly, now the whole country has to suffer.

  • Jackle - 2012-04-25 00:32

    Use other roads come in late to work because the alternative road are congested. Companies start to loose money over the fact that you can't already afford e-toll they fire you but comes second due to firing you for being late over toll fees. Countries productivity suffer in long term and ANC is forced to let go of toll system.. If companies and people stand together they might win this.

      Neeus - 2012-04-25 11:02

      Jackie, have you seen the state of the alternative roads past Villiers and Ladysmith to Durban? The rod from Harrismith to the Dam is not even a dirt track any more. Work started two and a half years ago on that road and has not progressed at all. They have full time employees controlling contraflow without any work on the roads.... TWO YEARS!!!!!

      Brad - 2012-04-25 11:43

      Lol, there is no way I'd let my employees get away with saying they're late because of congestion on the roads. You voted for them so you can pay! They can use the toll roads or get up earlier! Besides there is no way I can get to work without the toll routes unless I increase the distance by almost double and travelling time by at least triple! If there were viable alternative routes no-one would complain but the now toll routes are the only way so we are forced to use them!

  • Pieter Mulder - 2012-04-25 01:45

    Fuel hikes is starting to pay for e-tol.

  • Ferdie Van Der Merwe - 2012-04-25 02:11

    Who received the tender to distribute the etags? Was it the transport minister's cousin? I see huge corruption complications ahead in regards with this toll crap!!!

      Anakin - 2012-04-25 08:24

      >>> http://toxinews.blogspot.com/2012/04/sanral-from-australian-newspaper-on.html

      theO rAcLe - 2012-04-25 08:37

      DO NOT REGISTER FOR E-TAG.......

      Hugh - 2012-04-25 10:30

      Tend to agree with you. NO Gov contract has ever been without a kickback of some kind. I'd like to see Alli investigated, the contract scrutinised, and made null and void if it is not to the betterment of the country. From all indications, the meat of this deal goes overseas.

  • Gregory - 2012-04-25 03:56

    F**k e-toll.

  • Kim - 2012-04-25 04:28

    I am still not buying an e-tag. Two middle fingers in the air !!

      theO rAcLe - 2012-04-25 08:38

      DO NOT REGISTER FOR E-TAG.......

  • Gemma-Leigh - 2012-04-25 05:54

    I don't get it...the argument is that everyone knew about this since 2008. It must have been like fine print on a contract coz I only knew about this when the tolls were suddenly being erected on the highways in 2010 wasn't it? Even then I didn't fully understand the significance and magnitude of e-toll until sanral put that calculator on their website to let you calculate your daily travel expenses on the highway in 2011. Furthermore, up until THIS month, non-etag users were advised we would merely not qualify for discounts...now we are told we will be penalized?! There is no way I'm letting money hungry morons have free access to my bank account!! What about our human rights?! Apartheid will come back under a new name. Where previously whites enslaved blacks, government will financially enslave ALL its people under a dictatorship!! Because I fail to see an OUNCE of democracy in this entire issue!!

      Ina - 2012-04-25 09:17

      Even if we did know there would be tolls, who could have even guessed that the fees would be so grossly high? That we would be well and truly fleeced? They want us to pay it in 12 months by the look of things, and then the income generated will go into back pockets which shall remain anonymous .

  • Faizie - 2012-04-25 05:58

    U see when your priority is your cell phone, dstv and alcohol then you dont have money to pay for infrastructure improvements. Lead SA its the right thing to do. Are your kids school fees paid, doubt it

      betsy.compaan - 2012-04-25 07:57

      @Faizie, Stuff you. What is the use of earning a salary if I should just bloody hand it over to Government? Why even bother having a job if you can't even afford the most basics in the end of the month? We are tired of being economic slaves but if you want to bend over so that the Government can shaft you then go ahead but some of us prefer to be free.

      Anakin - 2012-04-25 08:26

      We think you work for SANRAL. So shut up.

      Loo - 2012-04-25 09:08

      We need cell phones to call people to fetch us when our cars were stolen, we need dstv to monitor how much were going to get ripped off by government once again. then of course we need alcohol to help us digest all this BS. So please realize how important those three things are to the avg citizen

      Konstabel - 2012-04-25 09:44

      This is one of the most ridiculous comments I have seen and you obviously work for Sanral. But schools are a good example of where this government has totally stuffed-up the education system so that we now have to pay huge fees to send our kids to private schools. The same as with the roads, they did not maintain or extend them despite collecting the taxes and now we are expected to pay for them with tolls.

      dewalds3 - 2012-04-25 12:30

      E-troll Alert! E-troll Alert!

      Sechaba - 2012-04-25 13:23

      I'd rather buy alcohol than pay for the tolls... Dnt get tagged!!

  • Jakobus Van Deventer - 2012-04-25 06:22

    How about using the billions of rands that have been waisted on changing of town,city, and street names that has absolutely no affect on improvement on infrastructure.

      theO rAcLe - 2012-04-25 08:37

      DO NOT REGISTER FOR E-TAG.......

      Belinda - 2012-04-25 09:12

      Well said Jakobus. Here's another one; How about the R470 MILLION they spend EVERY year to jail FOREIGNERS in our country who are immediately deported when their sentence is complete?? WTF??

  • Piet - 2012-04-25 07:08

    In all honesty, i am actually happy about e-tols. Thanks to Sanral hopefully the ANC supporters has seen the true colors of the leadership they have voted for. I might just get an e-tag to celebrate......Not!

  • Greg Gow - 2012-04-25 07:12

    There are much more advantages than disadvantages to not register for eTolling. Just don't register.

  • ujozi.sales - 2012-04-25 07:19

    etoll the new ANC slush fund

      theO rAcLe - 2012-04-25 08:37

      DO NOT REGISTER FOR E-TAG.......

  • Breinlekkasie - 2012-04-25 07:21

    Definitely not buying a e-tag.

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-04-25 07:23

    ANC...stop your stealing and plundering!! Pay back your ill gotten gains and there will be PLENTY to pay for roads et all!!

  • Anton - 2012-04-25 07:46

    Sometimes I think the government have no backbone. I don't think this would have happen if the ANC was not the ruling party. But stil the people vote for them. I think the people voting for the ANC thinks "Eish I can get a day of from work to vote, lets vote anc so that they can say yes for all the extra taxes we must pay and for the E-tollie, because they want to drive bmw's, Eish Im so clever" The DA wouldn't have stood for this.

  • dewalds3 - 2012-04-25 08:01

    The issue that Outa raised (the exemptions for public transport not being in place) is a SMALL part of all the legal issues raised. Do not be discouraged and DO NOT BUY AN E-TAG!.

  • Griffen - 2012-04-25 08:22

    Suggestion - from now on let us all refer to the e-tag as an e-dompass to remind officials constantly of our protest at the pillage. Refusing to buy an e-dompass has a nice ring to it.

      theO rAcLe - 2012-04-25 08:37

      DO NOT REGISTER FOR E-TAG.......

  • Anakin - 2012-04-25 08:45

    SANRAL still remains CORRUPT ... "Sanral had also not provided the terms and conditions of its contract." Also, the tariff discussion is not over yet ... "Only the issue of tariffs was up for discussion" SANRAL could still trip over their own shoelaces on this one, the most important aspect of the whole case. And even if SANRAL wins the day in court it doesn't automatically imply that everyone will rush out to buy an e-tag. WE WON'T PAY FOR THE E-TAG SYSTEM. Use a fuel-levy to pay for them and SCRAP the ENTIRE e-tag system - we never wanted an e-tag system in the first place. [ http://toxinews.blogspot.com/2012/04/sanral-from-australian-newspaper-on.html ] >> "The deal between Sanral and Kapsch of Austria, the e-tolling operating company is not with the corporate entity, but with Kapsch Sweden. Kapsch Sweden used to be SAAB Aerospace, a 50% shareholder in a company called SANIP. British Aerospace held the other 50%. SANIP is alleged to be the payment vehicle used by SAAB and BAE to pay the alleged bribes of around R100Million in the Arms Deal saga .... According to the corporate structure used to implement e-tolling in SA, about 80c of each rand of profit can be repatriated to Austria via Sweden. Gauteng alone expects to generate about R350Million a month in toll fees...Assuming a very conservative 10% profit available to be repatriated, that means about R28Million a month to go overseas"... "

      Ridwan - 2012-04-25 11:23

      @Anakin....Why should a fuel levy be applied when we are molested financially every month?How much of taxes get paid monthly? Private and company? Plus the current price of fuel already has a levy calculated into it to make provision for this sort of thing! Double Whammee don't you think?

  • Boitshepo - 2012-04-25 08:47

    I'm not registering for e-toll nor m I paying toll fines. ARREST ME pls!!! Sanral has a better chance of throwing me in jail than receiving a cent from me!

  • Piet - 2012-04-25 08:48

    We are going to lose this......Just saw about 20 cars parked at the Sanral office in Rivonia.....Losers....

      Martin - 2012-04-25 11:40

      probaly technicians and employees, gauteng seems pretty united on this one

  • Monique Naude - 2012-04-25 08:50

    The implications are more far reaching than the government and SANRAL could ever realise. Not only will people struggle to afford the traveling costs, but the cost of bread, milk, flour, and clothes will increase. The suppliers will be adding the cost of the deliveries to the bottom line, which we will be paying for. SANRAL and government are pushing us into complete poverty. Don't buy and e-tag!!! Take alternative routes, and show them we don't need their selfish ways.

  • shaficks - 2012-04-25 08:58

    What hiccup? No matter what they say IM NOT PAYING!!!...sanral will have to hold my kids hostage before I give them a cent...

      Piet - 2012-04-25 09:44

      They just might......Nazir is glowing on the news about this wonderful concept!

  • jerry.mamabolo - 2012-04-25 09:18

    I wonder what the the effects of this thing will be on tourism to the country as most tourists enter SA via OR Tambo. The fact that there are two tariff plans is preposterous to say the least. Tourist are among the foreign currency earners for the country. Once more I think this govt has used a short term solution for a long term problem. Basic infrastructure remains the responsibility of govt and this approach is not very sustainable.

  • Mike Purchase - 2012-04-25 10:07

    You okes havnt got the balls to stop etolling.

  • Hugh - 2012-04-25 10:15

    It may have been four years since the news broke about etolls but then we awere not informed of the exhorbitant charges. Even now Sanral is rushing to make changes to the draconion laws to flatten court cases. The question remains, why were we told that the upgrades to the freeway system were inpreparration for the world cup then suddenly the same becomes part of the etoll?

  • sarferaaz.adam - 2012-04-25 11:17

    WHY IS IT THAT TAXI'S AND BUSES, DON'T HAVE TO PAY THEY ARE RUNNING BUSINESSESS ITS NOT LIKE THE GOVERNMENT IS GIVING US FREE TRANSPORT.... AND WHAT ABOUT THE FUEL PRICES.... TAXI'S ARE GETTING A KICK BACKS FROM THE GOVERNMENT THATS WHY THEY NOT MAKING ANY NOISE LIKE THEY MADE THE APARTHEID TIME....

  • Hugh - 2012-04-25 12:06

    The Application for the interdict will be heard. A win for the opposition to Extortion Tolling!!

  • hugh.goldberg - 2012-04-25 13:00

    ok so what if we all stop paying tax. that will bring the govt to its knees and open democratic negotiations, right. be a lot harder running the country from e-toll tarrifs. certainly eat into their fatcat spending. so whats it gonna be JZ??

  • Victoria - 2012-04-25 13:12

    Dear Telkom and Eskom Cable Thieves: It is now time to give back to the Community... Please steal as many E-toll cables as you can.

  • aspruyt - 2012-04-25 17:33

    Burn it to the ground!

  • Noluntu - 2012-04-26 06:10

    they must suck my toll-e

  • Noluntu - 2012-04-26 06:11

    They must suck my toll-e

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