Opponents had to wait to fight tolls, court hears

2012-04-24 20:10

Pretoria - Opponents to the Gauteng e-tolling scheme could only bring legal action after the tariffs had been announced in February 2011, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

This had resulted in a large public outcry and was when the magnitude of the system became apparent, Alistair Franklin, for the applicants - who include the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance - told the court.

He was replying to earlier arguments that opponents to tolling only brought legal action four years after the toll roads were declared.

Franklin said the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) and other applicants trying to stop the tolling had only become aware that the system would start on April 30 when it was announced in the Budget on February 22 this year.

The applicants supported the need to upgrade Gauteng's roads, but were against how it would be paid for.

"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 the 30th of April, the horse will have bolted."

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