Cape Town - Earlier in September, Wheels24 reported on the on-going e-tolls between the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), and the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa).
The dispute relates to legal discussions regarding court summons issued to e-toll defaulters, reports the Automobile Association (AA).
According to Outa, an agreement was reached that current, and future, Outa members – who have outstanding e-toll accounts - will not be pursued until a test case to determine the legality of e-tolls on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) is concluded.
The AA said: “Whatever the situation may be, this current round of debate in the media between the two parties is not bringing any clarity to Gauteng road users on how they must proceed in relation to e-tolls. Many road users still do not pay for e-tolls, and are anxious for a final legal ruling. In light of this, we urge both Sanral and Outa to consider that this is not benefitting anyone."
More than 18 000 votes
We asked Wheels24 readers how they feel about the ongoing battle between Sanral and Outa and our homepage poll garnered 18 741 votes:
• The fight should continue to end e-tolls - 15 557 votes
• Makes no difference to me - 1548 votes
• It's not benefitting anyone - 1150 votes
• We should give up and pay e-tolls - 486 votes
The majority of readers (15 557) believe that Outa should continue its fight against e-tolls in Gauteng.
Volkmar Nolting: Remember that e-tolls are not about paying back the money that Sanral borrowed to upgrade the freeways. E-tolls are a corrupt money-making scheme and if we ever agree to this, then we will be forced to pay e-tolls until the day we die. The fight must go on, e-tolls must fall.
Armand du Plessis: Irrespective of the outcome of the legal battles, I am not paying the toll and I also believe that many other residents in Gauteng feel the same. My objection is not against the method of tolling, i.e. e-toll, but rather against the principal of tolling of roads in urban areas. I do however, believe that the reason for having chosen the overseas operator was simply a means of moving money overseas in order to relocate same into back pockets of connected persons.
Charles Coetzee: The fact that Sanral consented to only stay the issuing of summons against Outa members and does not include non- Outa members, is surely not the fault of Outa. If the AA views it as unconstitutional, why do they not take it on review, with possibly direct referral to the Constitutional Court? Why are the general public not joining up with Outa en masse? Why whine and wait for others to defend your rights from a out-of-control, pillaging government? The general public are aware that civil organisations such as Outa, fight for their rights - the next fight, that will make the toll gate - issue look like a kindergarten party, is the nuclear deal.
Our president and his selected beneficiaries are intent on bankrupting the RSA, to their sole and exclusive financial benefit. And here is the rub: for how long can a civil organisation like Outa, effectively fight Constitutional issues, relying on the Rule Of Law?
The answer: Only as long as the Rule of Law holds the hole in the dyke in check, which hole is getting bigger and bigger! The judiciary is still holding the line, but is it their exclusive burden to hold corruption and naked fraud/theft committed by Government, in check, by exposing the flagrant breaches of our Constitution in their judgement?
Can you even imagine the political pressure on the unfortunate Judge/Judges, who will be required to make an order blocking the nuclear deal? Immense. So, the bringing of applications ad nausea to uphold fair principles in our civil society is not a long - term answer.
Look at Zimbabwe, where the judiciary remained untainted/upheld the Rule of Law for only so long...
The only solution - Time to act ANC members. Bring your elective conference forward and put the steps in place to get rid of the encumbent president and replace him with a man/woman and cabinet with character and unscrupulous honesty. Hell, I would vote for the correct candidate in 2019 and invite you to view where I place my cross!
What do you think of the on-going battle between Outa and Sanral? Email usyour thoughts.
Gerrie Pretorius: The sooner Sanral and by implication the government of the day, decide to 'come clean' with all information requested by Outa, FF Plus and others, the sooner this saga will end. It is Sanral causing the delays, not the parties opposed to this monumental waste of tax money.