News24

Toll interdict will hurt - lawyer

2012-04-26 15:55

Johannesburg - If an interdict preventing e-tolling in Gauteng was granted, it could be in effect for the rest of the year, the North Gauteng High Court heard on Thursday.

"If the interdict is granted, in all legal reality, it must stand until the end of litigation, which would not be set to end any time soon... maybe until the end of the year," Treasury lawyer Jeremy Gauntlett said.

This was due to the time required for the review, as well as further court hearings and appeals.

He said if the SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) defaulted on one month of its payment, the government would have to pay its entire debt.

"It does not mean that government would not be able to meet it [the debt], it has to, but at what cost? For this country to sustain R20bn in unbudgeted capital is a serious matter," Gauntlett said.

He said the government would have to neglect other social and economic obligations to pay off the debt.

"The milk has been spilt with regards to the roads, and people are using them. The issue now is how to pay for them. It has to be paid for. You can say you don't like it, but you can't say that it is irrational."

He said the previous four delays to the e-toll system had come at a "great cost".

Comments
  • Vaughan - 2012-04-26 15:58

    Shame no more ANC parties and less corruption. We can't have that...

      Anthony - 2012-04-26 16:04

      Yeah what Vaughan said exactly .... dont cry over spilt milk (or in the governments case spilt Johnnie Walker Blue Label) ... No more miling us for your ef ups . We did not ask for them to rebuild a highway that stood for over 30 years .

      Philemon - 2012-04-26 16:12

      "Toll interdict will hurt - lawyer" Not true!! It wont hurt me!!

      Marius - 2012-04-26 16:16

      SANRAL and Government had 4 years to budget for this.

      Tygerr - 2012-04-26 16:18

      Vaughn, whilst I appreciate your sentiment and don't support these toll roads nor the ANC myself, you seem to imply that if this debt were defaulted on the ANC would somehow lose out: don't make the mistake in thinking that the ANC and the government are the same thing. The government is not the same kind of entity as a company: it's balance sheet and income statement exist solely as result of our tax payments.\r\nSo if the government has to cough up for this debt, it will come straight out of the taxpayers pocket, not by tolls but by income tax or fuel levies.\r\nAnd if the government defaults, it won't be the ANC that has failed, it will be South Africa that has failed and that will hurt us even more since future loans for infrastructure projects will cost us more since the country will be perceived as risky, and that extra cost will also come out of the taxpayers' pocket.\r\n\r\nI don't like the idea of the toll roads, but whatever happens with them, the taxpayer is already screwed.

      brett.macdonald1 - 2012-04-26 16:45

      R20 billion is only 2% of our national budget of R 1 trillion. Government can easily find the money for that, rather than have us pay it off with interest into infinity...

      Keith - 2012-04-26 16:49

      Margie, it means that if Sanral does not collect enough money, we,the taxpayer will have to find the money to repay the loan. But I don't quite understand the problem, either, because most of the money seems to have come from the Gov't Employees Pension Fund. There is obviously overseas money also, but the whole thing, from beginning to end is shrouded in secrecy. How the Austrians/Swedes got involved and how much they will get out of it is a mystery to me, and possibly to others. Just who would be prejudiced by a default and by how much, nobody wants to say.

      mike.clery - 2012-04-26 16:55

      @Tygerr - yes, ultimately the taxpayer will pay. BUT the alternative via income tax or fuel levy looks a lot cheaper than continuing with this hugely expensive (to the country) system. Why would we pay for a foreign company to collect local tolls and transfer huge sums out of the country?

      Louis - 2012-04-26 18:39

      "We have to pay for them", the idiot must be told we have paid for the highways many time over. The anc clowns just want to line their pockets

  • Trixie - 2012-04-26 15:59

    use the tolls which we pay for roads that have not been upgraded.

      Johnathon - 2012-04-26 23:56

      Hens have finally come home to roost for SANRAL & ANC hopefully. Arrogant an autocratic Government convinced it could simply legislate e-tolling into being, with punitive criminal action against defaulters. This has been the proudest moment I have ever felt as a SA citizen. For the first time the entire country : Black, Indian, Coloured, Chinese, White, have all stood together with a unified resolve, to tell this corrupt, incompetent, tax blowing Government, to finally go to hell. No more taxes you greedy bullies. If you just stopped pissing all public money into personal gratification and self enrichment, there will be far more than enough money, to address most of the countries social problems.

  • Marion - 2012-04-26 15:59

    It's irrational. It's irrational. It's irrational. There, I said it.

  • Marius - 2012-04-26 16:01

    How was the roads paid for and maintained prior to 1994?

      cyanideandhappiness - 2012-04-26 16:18

      Indeed! The 20 Billion Rand question Marius! But shoosh, we cant go around pointing out that the apartheid government was actually more competent than the ANC, more beneficial to even the black majority it tried to oppress than the current regime, despite their racist white tendancies! No no we cant say that, and we certainly cant go about implementing the good non biased policies they had, nevermind that crime and corruption was lower, roads were better (AND FREE!!!), life was cheap and high quality and people of all races had a better standard of living and education (yes even the oppressed blacks who are even more poor and uneducated now than ever before), because these policies that cause such a high level of social development and quality of life are obviously racist... Obviously... But seriously, wake up people, the development of the 1994 government was one of the worst things that could have happened to this country, and at this point it seems like it is finally overtake the terrible crime of an apartheid system, like the ANC is trying to compete with it... Higher crime, higher poverty, higher corruption... Remember, debt is slavery...

      Bless Boswell - 2012-04-26 16:19

      Prior to 1994 the roads were regularly maintained with money that had been budgeted for that purpose - simple. It had not been stolen and used to pay for holidays to visit girlfriends in jail in switzerland or for upgrades to the prez's house - to house his 4 wives and 20 something children. The next text is extremely long, sorry about that, but I'd like to share it with everyone - as I believe we need to see this whole thing in perspective: I think, and I am sure that many of you are the same, that the tolls are a disgrace, both the extortionate toll fees themselves and also the widely published fact that we are expected to pay up to R18 BILLION over the next 10 years just to collect the toll fees. I wanted to share the clarity of thought in this mail and agree that I will not be installing anything on my car. They are not going to have easy access to my bank account - they say they want a debit order - forget it. Send me a bill (by registered mail) every time - and I will pay it just as fast as I pay the speeding fines that arrive by normal post (which I also ignore). Together we can make this whole thing fail - as it should. Let the toll gates stay there, not working, as monuments to people power. Let's call this the start of the SA Awakening, look what the normal people are achieving in North Africa with the Arab Awakening. I hope this goes around at least a billion times. Taxes and Open Road Toll Fees People should not install the transponders but still use the highways and force the government to issue accounts and summonses to all motorists until such time they drop the prices. The government will be forced to send out millions of accounts every month and they don't have the manpower to do it. This is the best and easiest way to boycott the system. What is the government going to do about motorists from other neighbouring countries that don't have these transponders? South Africans are too complacent and it’s time we fight back. WE have paid for these roads. Now they are also proposing a 1% tax to fund the SABC Circulate this to all your friends!!!!!!!! Has anyone thought just how much tax we are already paying ? a. 35% on your salary b. 14% on everything you buy (bar fresh produce) and services rendered. c. Carbon tax if you buy a new car (besides the 14% VAT you have to pay) d. Tax on the fuel you put in your car to run it. e. Toll on our roads – and for some it is going to come to a whopper of 10% of your salary (If you earn R10 000.00 a R1 000 would go toward tolling if you migrate between PTA and JHB every day.) Bully to try and pacify me with the idea that I can claim it back from my income tax!!! I have to fork out the money first. Going on holiday to Durban? Remember to save up your R1000.00 for tolling. To say the least - For every R10.00 you earn, the government is already taking approx R6.00 and still they want more. Are you happy with the R4.00 you are getting? NICE! When are we going to get up and do something about it? Where is all the money going to? It is definitely not being spent on what it should be - our hospitals are in a state of disrepair, police services are corrupt, our schools in shambles, our roads full of potholes, our water contaminated, sewers not working, left in the dark because Eskom failed to do their upgrades, the poor are poorer still, municipalities on the brink of collapse, and so the list goes on. Heard about the youth day celebration that cost R100 million? Mmmm... did you pay for it? Oh yes, you did! R100 million that could have paid for a couple of things our country needed more. And to put the numbers in perspective... The next time you hear an SA politician use the word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you wanted the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money. A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its press releases: A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959. B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was born in Bethlehem. C. A billion Rand ago was only 27 hours and 12 minutes at the rate our SA government is squandering it (over a billion rand a day!) Building Permit Tax Cigarette Tax Corporation Tax Income Tax Value Added Tax Fishing License Tax Food License Tax Fuel License Tax Petrol/Diesel Tax Hunting License Tax Luxury Tax Property Tax Service charge taxes Capital gains Tax Social Security Tax Securities Transfer Tax Road Usage Tax Local Tax Vehicle License Registration Tax Vehicle Sales Tax Worker's Compensation Tax These are the taxes we pay - but 18 years ago many did not exist... And our nation was one of the most prosperous in Africa. We had absolutely no national debt... We had the largest middle class in Africa and Mum stayed home to raise the kids. What happened ? ANSWER : Look at the Government.....and who is 'running' the country.... INTO THE GROUND - on YOUR and MY 'billions'! Think carefully about where you're going to put your next vote - please make it work for the good of the people and for the future of south Africa.

      Philemon - 2012-04-26 16:24

      Hi Bless, from where did you copy and paste this drivel?

      Rob - 2012-04-26 16:40

      Philemon: Thank you for your well thought out, constructive, and intelligent contribution. There can be no dount that you will be welcomed in the public service...as it stands today at least.

  • Herman - 2012-04-26 16:01

    Let it go on forever, I won't pay!

  • Irene - 2012-04-26 16:02

    Here's a suggestion. Let government go find the missing 30 billion of taxpayers money that they've stolen. If that doesn't work, use the money that we've already paid on every litre of petrol bought. Problem solved! Wasn't so difficult was it?

  • Shirley - 2012-04-26 16:02

    Government should of thought of that before they went ahead with out consulting with the very public expected to pay for them! They never placed ads on tv,newspapers etc. This mess is their fault! Use all officals bonuses for payments-that should cover a rather large slice. The rest they can take from the salaries of people on "suspension" for corruption with full pay!!!!

      Shirley - 2012-04-26 16:16

      you sound like one of the sheep!

      colingkearns - 2012-04-26 19:16

      This was a deal worked out over a good lunch in a smokey room somewhere whilst downing a couple of Johnney Walker Blues. Now that the sheep are playing along, they roll out their extremely well paid lawyers,attorneys etc. to say they have'nt budgeted for it, more like... we have'nt thought it through properly because we were pissed at the time and we thought this would be a quick and easy way to make some MONEY for myself and my RETIREMENT!!!!!!

      colingkearns - 2012-04-26 19:17

      Sorry - should be "SHEEP AR'NT PLAYING ALONG"

  • Peter - 2012-04-26 16:05

    Balderdash.....you should have thought about the consequences BEFORE you planned to drop us all in te doodoo ! You dont go to the loo to have a doodoo without paper.That causes you to be in the s*it. That exactly what happened in the planning of the so called toll roads.

      Debri - 2012-04-26 16:29

      Excellent comment!!! What you said is about as funny as the e-toll thing.

      Saleé - 2012-04-26 23:49

      Loving the comments. Bwahahaha

  • Bless Boswell - 2012-04-26 16:05

    At what cost? Hmmmm let me think ... No more 100 million centenary parties, no more 67 million upgrades to the prez's house, no more luxury 4x4 vehicles and BMWs for councillors and MECs, no more building of walls in private houses, no more chartering of shadow aircraft, signing leases for huge and expensive buildings for the police, employing unqualified "colonels" and other family members for the security services ... Need I carry on? Eish shame - our government is going to have to tighten its belt.

      ashne.segal - 2012-04-26 16:17

      I love it - well said!

  • Riad - 2012-04-26 16:05

    As far as all that live and lived in Gauteng and those that frequented our province, these roads were always here and were used by all at no tolled cost. When you say; "The milk has been spilt with regards to the roads, and people are using them. The issue now is how to pay for them. It has to be paid for” I suggest you close off/block off the additional lines added to the existing roads and when we, the people are ready to use it, we let you know so you can then open them, how about that…..

  • Louis Cheyne - 2012-04-26 16:06

    It's about time government employees realize they are serving the community they work for, they cannot tell us what to do, nor can they steal the money and inform us we just have to pay more, idiots you criminality is up. Be honest for a change a own up to the fact that a Hugh error in judgement was made. The sa community will not take this anymore, we are actually sick of the incompetence. I will never pay for this..

  • cyanideandhappiness - 2012-04-26 16:06

    Look at the tears in my eyes. You MEAN it's gonna hurt you, Sanral and your reputations! Can't afford that nice house and that BMW/Merc/Audi now can you? I'm not paying for your incompetence. Scrap the tolls, cause judging by all the comments here, pretty much nobody is gonna pay them...

  • Eternity - 2012-04-26 16:07

    "The milk has been spilt with regards to the roads" I was using the highway before you split your nonsense all over it and then said at the last minute that the public must pay.

  • ronel.kotze.3 - 2012-04-26 16:07

    Is this your best shot SANRAL...aggeshame...

  • camp.j - 2012-04-26 16:08

    Route out corruption and that will cover ALL costs, nobody will go short! Better still i think we as South Africans should make a deal with the government, YOU stop ALL corruption and we'll pay tolls. I guess not in my lifetime huh

  • ced.pearce - 2012-04-26 16:11

    Er - wait a bit... Wasn't the World Cup being held in RSA the reason for improving the highways, for prestige and all? Like having the Gautrain running in time as well ? Maybe we should ask FIFA for a handout now ?

      Marion - 2012-04-26 16:20

      @ced - exactly what I thought. Just shows how they lied to us.

  • Takalani - 2012-04-26 16:13

    No matter what,Dont register that sh*t etag,,Kulobose Zuma must pay that debt by profit he made at Arura mine,,,come 2014 elections!!!

      Saleé - 2012-04-26 23:50

      Lol Kulo-who? Wozat?

  • rynhardt.otto - 2012-04-26 16:14

    Did you notice, only one thumbs down...seriously people, we as South Africans must stand together now, 28c more for petrol,16% increase in electricity and now E-Toll, WHERE IS IT GOING TO STOP!!!!...we cant live like this!!!!

      Riad - 2012-04-26 16:29

      Maybe our government is not that naive after all, meaning; as a contingency plan should we the government are pushed in the corner by the judgement that's soon to be made, lets up the petrol price by another 20c/lt which can go towards our pension fund thats invested in SCUMTRAIN and 8c/l for legit reasons while everyone is sidetracked by the court proceedings……I scheme this is what they concocted to underhandedly screw us which is as good as rape without us knowing.

      Saleé - 2012-04-26 23:52

      Riaad, the Gautrain is nice. I layk it.

  • ashne.segal - 2012-04-26 16:15

    The Government will find the money - I won't cry for them! I cry for the people who can't pay these tolls and what about the increase in petrol.

      Kuno - 2012-04-26 16:22

      unfortunately they will find it in our pockets via taxes and levies.

  • Eternity - 2012-04-26 16:17

    I really do wonder how the first meetings at Sanral for the toll road went. Did they really think they could slip this past a million road users???

  • Judith - 2012-04-26 16:19

    I really have no sympathy for them. They caused the problem and have made it worse by threats and blackmail instead of proper negotiations

  • RoryKlein - 2012-04-26 16:21

    If they had actually thought everything through then they wouldn't be sitting in this position PLUS then there is next weeks petrol increase. It is time to say ENOUGH is ENOUGH! Stop WASTING TAX PAYERS money! GOVERNMENT seems to forget that when petrol comes down NOTHING ELSE EVER DOES and WHEN PETROL does COME DOWN then it is a LOT LESS than what it went UP by.

  • Chantelle Barnard - 2012-04-26 16:21

    Well then Sanral shouldnt have put up the tolls just assuming that we would just roll over and accept this highway robbery!! You can recuperate your losses in the pockets of those who thought this was a good idea. Not from us!

  • Jackie - 2012-04-26 16:21

    I absolutely can say its irrational! How many times do they want us to pay for these roads? Not forgetting that they were built in such a rush for the world cup soccer! That was also going to help with funding. My tax money has been paying for these roads since I started working. And what about the exhorbitant fuel levies? Nope sorry I will NOT pay any tolls. If they cant pay their bills its not my problem. And if its forex accounts they will have to explain that their cash cow didnt pan out!

      James - 2012-04-26 16:41

      Yes we were told the world cup will bring in billions for S A,and I'm sure it did.USE THE BILLiONS THAT WE AS PUBLIC DONT SEE.

  • Rob - 2012-04-26 16:22

    Hurt.....Sounds fair to me! Did they really expect to get away with this and go home for the weekend untouched?

  • Chantelle Barnard - 2012-04-26 16:24

    Or maybe you could get the money, by not have the officials living in mansions and driving half a million rand cars. What for I ask!! What is wrong with living honestly and not over and above your means. Nobody that is in power now actually deserves the 6 figure salary that they get per month!!!

  • Noluntu - 2012-04-26 16:26

    Uhm...who cares? Cause i dont...Stupid ANC government!!

  • raath - 2012-04-26 16:29

    I'm not crying over spilt milk, because I am not paying for the spilt milk.

  • Ashwin - 2012-04-26 16:30

    Does this government considered how this is going to hurt the general public, who pay their salaries, pay for their lavish lifestyles, fancy cars, extra weddings, pensions. I say we have all, already registered for e-tags. Yes the very e-tags that government MEC rushed to register for cars we pay for. So, we pay levies on the fuel we buy, taxes for corrupt elected officials, pay indirectly for the e-tags they registered for, as well as asking us to pay again for ourselves. "For this country to sustain R20bn in unbudgeted capital is a serious matter," Gauntlett said." Is corruption, crime, tenders for comrades, criminals in positions of power, not a serious matter? Seriiiassss?

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-04-26 16:30

    It is really such a lame argument, it is strange he actually holds the position he does. The judge should grant the interdict immediately and fine this one for these pathetic lines. This is a governmental stuff up, fraught with all kinds of rumors and accusations of underlying corruption going back as far as the arms deal. The question of contracts being handed off to off-shore non-South African companies for services that actually diminish job creation, currency leaving our shores for technology that is available in South Africa. The whole deal is a stinker and South African citizens are fed up with government miss-managment, corruption and self enriching pocket-lining deals.

  • Clive - 2012-04-26 16:34

    "For this country to sustain R20bn in unbudgeted capital is a serious matter," Gauntlett said." And so is it for the weary and sucked dry public, YOU DIMWIT!!!!!

  • sacitizen - 2012-04-26 16:36

    Paying for our road with the tax that we all already pay is the only way forward - we wont pay any more as we are already taxed to death by Duties, Sin Tax, Fuel Duties, VAT, PAYE, Car Tax. the goverment increase its tax revenue by R75 billion last year so use that to pay for the upkeep of our roads, this could also be paid for by stopping the R30 billion corruption at goverment level - ANC / Zuma get you house in order

  • david.lebethe - 2012-04-26 16:45

    In terms of the constitution, public consultations are mandatory and it is there to protect public from arbitrary decisions (such as the one at hand) by the government. If the above legal position is accepted then the Government choose to make it bed and let it lie on it. The argument advanced by the respondent is irrational and must therefore fail.

  • nick.wonfor - 2012-04-26 16:49

    Not sure who has watched the joke video with the guy calling FOR the e-toll to go ahead. Whether it is funny or not is debatable but I found one part of the recording very odd. The lady speaking to the crowd calls out "Viva ANC, Viva!". Where is the logic in calling out long live or up with the ANC when they are the people who are in government and therefore implementing the thing you're protesting about? Seriously, how stupid is that? "Listen to us ANC", "Hear us ANC", "this is a Bad idea ANC", any of these would be perfect for the situation. "Praise the ANC for implementing this rubbish and forcing us to pay for what we've already paid for!" That makes no sense at all. And the crowd call out "Viva ANC!"? I reckon the Karoo is short a few hundred sheep today, they all got shipped in to protest for/against/not sure really I just like public participation stage shows E-Tolling.

  • Mart - 2012-04-26 16:51

    I wish to table a vote of no confidence in the SA Government and have them recalled..... lock, stock and barrel. I am ashamed of the recklessness exhibited by them....and I am afraid that I have to say it again....this whole debacle reeks of Chinese shenanigans. A spot audit of the country's financial well being will reveal that the country is bankrupt, and that China already owns us !

      Dylan Dario Sciarappa - 2012-04-26 16:56

      China USA uk. Take your pick they all own us. E toll was built by European companies so don't know why you picking on only china

  • Michael - 2012-04-26 17:10

    Bonuses, back door payments. Will SARAL employees, politicians and government departments pay their share? They cannot even pay their suppliers on time

  • marvelkasa - 2012-04-26 18:02

    This e-toll stink reeks of mass scale corruption. The tendering process must be investigated and the whole matter laid bare to the public. There is some serious profiteering going on here at the expense of the over-taxed residents. This has to come to a stop at all cost even if it has to come to civil disobedience. The gross incompetences of the ANC led government has reached intolerable proportions, and the president is leading the pack. Time is up Mr President!! Now you have to roll up your sleeves and do some serious doodoo cleaning

  • FinalJustice - 2012-04-26 18:05

    Bearing in mind the fact that the anc government (all small-letters) CRAPED out R20 BILLION (in capitals) of our tax money last year due to bad bookkeeping and blatant corruption, I really don't give a rat's ass! Better management of public funds could have settled Scamral's bill once-off, if I'm not mistaken here.

  • Griffen - 2012-04-26 18:06

    Using SANRAL's logic, Rand Water Board could decide to up the pressure in their pipes and then charge me a toilet flushing tax for this improved service.

  • rory.short1 - 2012-04-26 18:11

    The problem is that the proposed funding model for these roads was incorrect because they are a public good and should therefore be paid for out of the public purse. The opposition is to the funding model. Jeremy Gauntlet is missing the point here and calling for the public to accept an erroneous funding model for a public good to get the government off a hook of its own making. To do so would be setting a precedent we don't want.

  • George - 2012-04-26 18:44

    Hurt? No enough I fear!!

  • colingkearns - 2012-04-26 18:48

    Will hurt what? The pockets of the dealmakers ie.the politically connected TO the top eschelons of the ANC. They screwed Joe public with the ARMS DEAL but they wont get away with it so blatently again. We dont only need to mobilize and march peacefully, what we need are martyrs that will do some damage to these scum bags and their lapdogs... like their Lawyers and the head of SANRAL.

  • James - 2012-04-26 19:26

    1.Ask the anc to recover all the money that their corrupt staff have stolen from the tax payers and they will have more than enough to pay for the so called. E toll dept.\r\n2.The people that say we must pay are all being subsidised.that's why they don't care.\r\n3.Even if we pay it won't stop after the debt have been repaid.I will just increase every year.\r\nI will leave my job and stop paying tax before I pay e tol.I travel 64kl on the toll road daily to get to and from work,plus petrol.I just work to get to work.

  • aiazmir - 2012-04-26 20:05

    Why should we add to the already growing coffers of the treasures the ANC will steal? So should we feel bad that the ANC can't pay the loan they negotiated based on a presumption that we would pay it for them? Don't think so.

  • Nikki Bodenstein - 2012-04-26 21:38

    No the government can rather neglect to pay sanral and tell them to suck it, before people start dismantling their equipment and using it to build shacks

  • Dave - 2012-04-26 21:42

    COSATU should demand a FULL FORENSIC AUDIT OF THE WHOLE E-TOLL DEBACLE. The contracts, the beneficiaries, the determination of the E-Tolls, how they were calculated, etc., etc., the list is endless. IT IS R20BILLION LONG. Nazi(r) Alli needs to get his answers ready.

  • percyferrao - 2012-04-26 22:10

    Of course you can say it's irrational!! It's irrational because last year this "governement" was unable to account for over 26 Billion rand of tax payers money and now wants to tax us more to pay for roads which they should be able to pay for in the first place!!!! Does no one have a brain in this govt!

  • klaus.oster.9 - 2012-04-27 08:36

    Increase the petrol & diesel prices by R 0.10 per litre on a permanent basis and everything will b paid for by the motorists making the most use of the roads. It'll cause a massiv outcry for a few day until we all got used to it. Massiv savings for SANRAL as NO infrastructres for collecting the funds is needed. Hire the overhead toll gates out for bill boards and more money is being generated.

  • Zighom - 2012-04-27 13:24

    Summon the minister to testify and let's see him for the clown he is

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