Sanral quiet on e-tolling

2012-05-02 07:22

Pretoria - The SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) remained silent on Tuesday over the ruling by the High Court in Pretoria which brought the Gauteng e-tolling project to a halt.

On Saturday, Judge Bill Prinsloo granted an urgent interdict to stop the protested tolling project which would have slid into effect on April 30.

Sanral has not responded to the ruling to indicate whether it would appeal or dispute the decision.

The interdict was brought by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa).

Attorney acting on behalf of Outa, Pieter Conradie, said government would have to consider whether it would apply for leave to appeal the matter.

Scrap e-tolling

"I am of the view that another court will not arrive at a different decision as that of Judge Prinsloo and that the government will have difficulty in persuading Judge Prinsloo to grant them leave to appeal," said Conradie.

He said considering the public outcry and opposition towards the tolls, it would also be insensitive of government to apply for leave to appeal.

"In view of the opposition to the e-tolling by the people of Gauteng and also the people of South Africa, the government should carefully consider whether it wishes to take the court process further and whether it should not rather scrap the e-toll system and introduce something acceptable to the people of Gauteng," said Conradie.

He said as the ruling stood, people had no obligation to purchase e-tags and those who had done so already could be refunded.

"The public purchased the e-tags with the understanding that e-tolling will be implemented on April 30. This did not happen and may not happen for many months or may never happen."

On hold

Conradie said it could not be determined how low e-tolling would be put on hold for as it would also depend on what decisions government decided to make.

The process for the alliance to acquire all court documents from government could take up to two to three months, he said.

Since the interdict was granted, Outa would wait for government to submit to it all the records of the documents which were considered by all government ministers who were involved in determining how e-tolling would proceed.

"The record will entail, for example, correspondence, reports, memoranda, documents, evidence, transcripts of recorded proceedings and other information which were before the respondents.

"The review process entails that, we now await for the record and when we are satisfied that we are in possession of a full record, the applicants are entitled to file supplementary affidavits," said Conradie.

"With regard to the contract between Sanral and the e-tolling consortium, a copy will be requested as part of the record as surely the minister of transport should have considered any agreement between Sanral and foreign contractors, as such agreement must have an effect on the price for using the roads to be paid by the public," he said.

Conradie said only when all affidavits had been filed that an application would be made to court for a court date for the review application to be heard.

After the ruling was made the department of transport said it would study it.

Next course of action

"We respect the decision... We will study the ruling thoroughly and decide on the next course of action," the department said.

The decision to halt e-tolling was welcomed by some organisations and political parties.

Business Unity SA (Busa) said more time was needed to address the regulatory and cost implications of e-tolling.

Busa's deputy chief executive Raymond Ackerman said further engagement by the department of transport and Sanral was needed to ensure that the final arrangements were more broadly acceptable.

The Democratic Alliance said the decision allowed for the opportunity to have e-tolling eliminated.

Make money

"We trust that during the review process all the financial facts...will come to light and we will learn who stood to make money out of this project," the party's transport spokesperson Neil Campbell said.

On Tuesday Cosatu said it would continue to fight against the proposed e-tolls.

Spokesperson Patrick Craven said Gauteng's toll road project was put on hold after Cosatu held discussions with the ANC.

"We are happy to announce that in our discussions with the ANC we agreed that we must postpone the implementation of the e-tolls in Gauteng for a month whilst we work on alternative funding methods," Craven said.

"This is a direct product of the workers' power and sacrifices."

  • Jacques - 2012-05-02 07:31

    Of course they are. We were shwown no plans as to what this money would be used on in anyway, so what are they going to say? 'Oh well, you got us, we really didn't give this much thought?'. Think about this. After they made 20 Billion (a figure which is just plucked from the air it seems in anyway) in 10 years, would they stop the tolls? Doubt it. That means in 20 years they would MAKE 20 billion. Now there's some lekker gravy!

      Preshen - 2012-05-02 07:58

      Tons of scraps metal and Copper ,Criminals please steal it

      Gert - 2012-05-02 08:22

      Yes Jacques-for all we know the levy money collected presently 'to fix the roads' are not used to fix the roads but they make gift offerings to other nations like Cuba (R350mil.)etc. and what is the handling fee or commission for that also??? For the anc gold was littering the streets of Gauteng and they just had to find a nice sweeper to collect it all for themselves. With the coming secrecy bill they could harvest funds for elections and make sure they buy 75% of the SA votes and there goes your constitution also.

      Alan - 2012-05-02 09:25

      Lekker gravy indeed! What now has to happen is for the poor and the unemployed to wake up to the fact that all the billions stolen by ANC fatcats for their own pockets, is directly stolen from the POOR. Less service delivery, fewer houses built, bad healthcare, poorer education etc. The question is, when is the wake-up going to come, when people still dumbly put their crosses against the Another New Criminal party? You CANNOT have accountability of public funds when criminals are in leadership. How much longer before voters wake up???

  • Bennie - 2012-05-02 07:32

    They are quiet for the moment , they are also part of ANC gvmt and planning alternative means to justify stealing funds from somewhere, meaning the taxpayer will pick up the tab somewhere. Over the barrel with a dry one with chilli sauce no vasso. !!!

      Gert - 2012-05-02 07:45

      As some body wrote--they are still busy shredding and recreating documents that will tie up with each other.

      Merven - 2012-05-02 08:41

      The only thing that will happen now is that we will feel the costs on the petrol price.

  • Felix - 2012-05-02 07:34

    Ha ha ha. Can of worms opening up here.

  • brianmacza - 2012-05-02 07:40

    I wonder if they will try blame this one on juliaas as well? A scapegoat is needed... who gets thrown to the lions?

      Anthony - 2012-05-02 07:43

      apartheid again???

  • Gert - 2012-05-02 07:42

    Sanral must also explain why they are keeping the blue lights of the toll gravy train still on. Say it is costing R10000 per day to keep the gantries burning then the wasting of public money just carries on and on.

  • Martina Chvatal-Teles - 2012-05-02 07:43

    heheh will be interesting to see what gets uncovered...

  • brionyl.french - 2012-05-02 07:44

    They dumbfounded? Thought they were above the law of this country like someone else....

  • Vic - 2012-05-02 07:48

    Engaging brains and citizens before deciding on next move, which should have been done in the first place.

  • Bennie - 2012-05-02 07:48

    20 Billion spent was done in a sneaky way - why should taxpayer even entertain ''a way '' of refunding. ?? No more following planes, no more 7 series BMW for town clerks, no more multimillion R parties for planting a tree, no more 20-30 person shopping trips to NY/ HK/ UAE. and sure more than 20bn will be saved !!!

      Rofhiwa - 2012-05-02 07:56


  • Koos - 2012-05-02 07:48

    It is going to open a can of ancESTORS if / when the facts starts to come out into the open. I don't think it will go that far. Cosatu is still waiting for the copy of the contract that were not 'censored'.

  • Richard - 2012-05-02 07:56

    Still a victory for the common person,now if we could all stand together like we did against the trolls, sorry tolls and vote this corrupt goverment out of power. When we can create an atmosphere where the government is scared of the people and not the other way round i wonder what would happen.

  • Gieljam - 2012-05-02 07:57

    It could be the quiet before the storm .If we opponents of this stay strong and perform we might get rid of whats become a norm and that's to shake out every cent from the already battered consumers until they "crack".

  • wikus.schalkwyk - 2012-05-02 08:03

    We must be careful of corporate suicides. These are depressing times and we should support the losing team. It's not that bad guys, we saw this coming long time ago. There there, it's alright.

  • stuart.pithey - 2012-05-02 08:04

    In a private company the CEO would have been fired by now for gross incompetence, but not the ANC gravy train.

  • Stille - 2012-05-02 08:04

    They are planning the next evil scheme to steal and pillage the public's wallets. Give them a few weeks, then we shall see what plan they and their partner the anc has come up with.

      Gert - 2012-05-02 09:40

      Yes like the GST will rise to 20% and each person earning more than R5000 per mnth. must now pay for 2 people for the NHI when it gets into full swing. Maybe they also secretly planned to use the billions in toll fees to sponsor their new free for poor health scheme, so that they can brag that it works.??

      Gert - 2012-05-02 11:03

      The other idea would be to claim 75% of your winnings if you win on the lottery not just the 10% or so they are stealing now, and then they use the lottery money for parties for the cuban youth or something bizzare. If they were very clever (they are clever--not very clever) then they would allow participation in the international lottery community that they banned, and if you win R800 mil they can pocket most of it.

  • flysouth - 2012-05-02 08:05

    It is the government which has wasted R20 billion or so of taxpayers money (governments have no money of their own) using their 100% owned SANRAL, in the most massive, blatant and shocking attempt to squeeze yet more billions out of hard-pressed consumers without any justification at all! Road users did not demand these improvements - which in fact were surreptitiously carried out under the guise of part of the upgrade necessary for the World Cup. The road which still exists under the cheap layer of bitumen was in reasonably good condition having been constructed more than 30 years ago of very high-grade concrete. Since the government took this business decision - for it was never a decision about benefitting the lives of citizens - for it's own long-term benefit in terms of a massive river of cash sucked from road-users, let them live with the result of that poor decision. That result is a debt of R20 billion and the cancellation of all contracts with Kapsch Traffic Management Sweden, whose shareholders include SAAB and BAE - two infamous players in the Arms Deal bribery scandal (still ongoing BTW!). In order to make up that loss, govt. will have to cut back elsewhere in terms of what it awards itself in salaries, luxuries, perks and monstrous benefits for office holders - it must not even think of further taxes from citizens to raise the shortfall or there will be yet another fight!

      Gert - 2012-05-02 09:54

      Yes flysouth-from a town planning point of view it probably would have made more sense to spread the urban sprawl by building a NEW RING ROAD , 30 km. further out (also toll free) around the old ring road. Now we have a 'better' road feeding the same area and just making the city fill up quicker, but it having the same old capacity to carry internal traffic as before. This would have opened up more area for shops and businesses along a new feeder route. (more income for the city) What has the town planners to say on this??--bet they were NEVER consulted.

      Pieter Mulder - 2012-05-02 11:56

      What town planners. I think they are long gone. But still carry a wage.

  • Thoka - 2012-05-02 08:07


  • Gert - 2012-05-02 08:10

    This tolling situation should never have existed. From the outset with open discussions and with the first boardroom meeting the sane decision would have been to collect extra funds the 'levy way' This wasting of public money decision was made by greedy conspirators. Maybe they can cook the books to make the cost per km. justifiable but the profits afterwards must have been the main drive for this decision not in the public's interest. They must also present a scientific and medical report stating that the infra red lights are causing no or minimal damage to the public's eyes. If other countries accepted this "danger" then it is not to say we must.

  • Steven - 2012-05-02 08:11

    I would not have, tohave paid toll, BUT WELL DONE CHAPS! The government must now consider carefully who is going to be the scape goat in this saga. I wonder what is going to fly out of the bush?

      Gert - 2012-05-02 10:36

      To Steven--they will find somebody to blame-I guess it will be Winnie and Shaik--they can't touch Shaik any more after being pardoned but they can sack the parliamentarian with a golden handshake of R50 mil and say she was asleep when they voted on it. this doesn't make any sense at all hey? but so does the anc.

  • Loo - 2012-05-02 08:14

    Guaranteed only R 15 Billion of this screw up the government did ??!!! Let me tell you ,, the Boston tea party, the watergate scandal etc. Does not stand a chance against this Brilliant and utter f-up of note. Total bill = Refund pension fund (R 15 billion), Pay scamral Debts (R 20 Billion) , Contractors and salaries(R ?? billion)and then I dont even mention the "sundry expenses" to follow.

  • Burtfred - 2012-05-02 08:14

    My guess is that they won't appeal. The ANC and SANRAL do not want the contract documents to be made public - they will be incriminating themselves. They will obfuscate, duck and dive and lie to keep this matter out of court. As for Patrick Craven the SACP and Cosatu - why are you still in the "alliance"? If you had any morals and ethics you would tell the ANC to go and jump in the lake.

  • Warwick - 2012-05-02 08:15

    I think it's time for sanral to pack it in & find a small rock and crawl under it & rot. The tribe has spoken - you are out. Nazi Ali, you have led your organization to 'Public Enemy No 1', well done you clown.

  • zipho500 - 2012-05-02 08:21

    If all the records are released i see a lot of comrades going to jail,and how nice would that be!

  • Sean - 2012-05-02 08:23

    Dude, it's the same old story with everything our useless government does, they implement first and think about it afterwards. I for one am glad that this time the entire country has stood together, united as one and said " we are tired of your crap". SCAMRAIL have nothing to say beacuse they are screwed now. The court case will drag on for well over a year and now SCAMRAIL will have to explain why they managed to sell almost R17b in bonds to the State pension fund 2 weeks before the deal went public? That right there is insider trading. This one is going to get messy, but messy in a the public caught you out this time.

  • Msika - 2012-05-02 08:28

    RIP E-Toll, condolences to SANRAL...

  • Nosiphom - 2012-05-02 08:53

    They would be fools to even try to waste more taxpayers money by appealing. Whilst they were busy making themselves fools in court, the ANC agreed with COSATU to postpone the launch of e-tolling.

  • Rob - 2012-05-02 08:57

    Now that the first wave of dust has settled I will make what is probably an unpopular comment: Amongst the negatives of tolling there could have been one positive (and I fail to see how the govt missed this one). That is the environmental impact.....the medium to long term impact of making private car travel more expensive would include reduced emissions etc. because the location of work relative to home would have become more important when chosing where to live/work. However you look at it, and whatever defence is made concerning the lack of public transport alternatives many Gautengers travel rediculous distances to get to work. This is encouraged by employers sponsoring the cost of that travel by allowances and company cars. Naturally many people are going to take issue with this comment, but before you do consider the impact on other people and the environment rather than taking a purely personal view. I make this comment as a person who benefitted from company sponsorship for 20 plus years, but unlike many of my colleagues I did not choose to drive from Pretoria suburbs to Johannesburg twice each day.

      Nosiphom - 2012-05-02 09:51

      by the way there is no tax benefit for travelling to and from work - since two years ago now. So if you are claiming from the taxman for that travel you are guilty of tax fraud!

      Rob - 2012-05-02 11:06

      Nosiphom....Yes of course you are correct, although I suspect that the tax rate applied may still leave room for manouvering, but also consider the possibility to make a call to a client to cover/disguise home to work travel. Either way it hardly discourages irresponsible vehicle use.

      Rob - 2012-05-02 11:09

      and nosiphorm: thank you for commenting rather that just thumbing down. An issue such as this deserves open dialogue rather than self intrested reaction.

  • Gideon - 2012-05-02 09:01


      Pieter Mulder - 2012-05-02 11:44

      Besig met n verbeterde plan.

  • Stephen - 2012-05-02 09:20

    Pay e-Toll, get used to eating Epol............bottom line.

  • Luis - 2012-05-02 09:23

    If I just lost a R20 billion winning lotto ticket, I would also be silent. Very silent;)

  • kasper.mbayi2 - 2012-05-02 09:31

    SANRAL not just kept quiet because of surrender. They still praying their devil to help them win their evil deeds.

  • kasper.mbayi2 - 2012-05-02 09:46

    Thank you Judge Prinsloo,Outa

  • Pieter Mulder - 2012-05-02 10:46

    For sure they would. Why do you think they hiked the price of petrol. They will get there money back with interest in very few weeks.

  • Pieter Mulder - 2012-05-02 11:03

    Rough calculation only on aviation fuel you talk about 10'951'200'000 per year over and above

      Hugh - 2012-05-02 11:25

      Consider R20bil for 185km of road. That equates to R112mil per Km. Seems to me theres a Sheiky deal here. Time to investigate Alli and his 40 thieves.

      Hugh - 2012-05-02 11:27

      Total budget for 2012 national road maintenance is R18Bil. That means they will only repair around 165km of roads at that price.

      Pieter Mulder - 2012-05-02 11:42

      Then, how much have they been ripping us of over the last 18 years and where did it go to. Our calculators are to small for that.

  • Lauden Kirk - 2012-05-02 11:43


      Pieter Mulder - 2012-05-02 11:48

      The more you look the less you'll see. They are magitions and very good at it. They will get there money out of us.

  • valcooperRSA - 2012-05-02 11:58

    Why don't they just hike the licence fees up in that part of the country in the WC we pay much more for licence than GP and MP....thats why half the vehicles down here are registered with GP or MP plates....

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