Govt urges motorists to respect e-tolls ruling

2012-12-13 13:53

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Government has welcomed the ruling by the High Court in Pretoria to dismiss an application to scrap e-tolls in Gauteng, and urged motorists to respect the ruling.

“The judgment vindicates government’s view that it had followed due process and met all regulatory requirements in declaring portions of the Gauteng freeways as toll roads in 2007,” spokesman Thabo Masebe said in a statement today.

“Government calls on all parties to respect the decision of the court and together move forward in the implementation of the e-tolling system.”

The Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) was being delivered within a “broader context” of improvements to integrated public transport and improvements to non-toll alternative routes, he said.

Judge Louis Vorster today found that the GFIP was lawfully done and dismissed an application by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) to have e-tolls set aside on Gauteng’s freeways.

He said the application could not succeed and ordered Outa to pay costs.

Outa applied to have e-tolls scrapped and said the method proposed to collect money from motorists was too expensive. It argued in November that public participation had not taken place.

Vorster said the argument by Outa was “flawed” and that government had done enough to inform the public.

Masebe said government called on road users to buy an e-tag and to respect the court processes.

Meanwhile, Outa, the Automobile Association of SA and the Democratic Alliance expressed their disappointment with the court ruling today.

“A precedent has now been set for urban tolling to continue throughout the rest of the country,” AA spokesman Gary Ronald said in a statement.

“Despite this outcome we still firmly believe that an alternative funding option could have come from the fuel levy.”

Ronald said motorists in the country have emerged as the “ultimate loser” in the battle and the ruling will mean significant additions to the costs of motoring in Gauteng.

The DA’s Jack Bloom, who was in court, urged the government to reconsider the project, saying residents would not be happy with the ruling.

“This is unlikely to appease the residents of Gauteng, who are adamantly against the tolls,” he said.

“The DA calls on Premier Nomvula Mokonyane to call a referendum so that people can have their say on the matter. Public protests will continue unless the e-tolls are stopped.”

Outa’s chairman Wayne Duvenhage said that they would study the judgment before they decide a way forward regarding the costs and a possible appeal.

He urged people to not buy e-tags.

“We still strongly believe that e-tolling is wrong. The decision is wrong,” he said after court.

“The will of the people is clear ... We don’t believe that this is the right way of raising funds for infrastructure development ...”

Duvenhage said they strongly believe their decision was the right one, saying government’s decision was not taken in the favour of society.

“I’m very disappointed and believe we put a strong argument together.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.