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Date set for Outa appeal

Jan 22 2013 08:19 Sapa

(File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The North Gauteng High Court will hear an application to appeal against e-tolling on Friday, the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) said.

"Outa remains committed to this case, which largely seeks to protect citizen’s constitutional rights, along with challenging the onerous, expensive, inefficient and cumbersome matters related to the decision to toll Gauteng’s freeways," it said in a statement on Tuesday.

The appeal follows a judgment on December 13 by the North Gauteng High Court, which dismissed Outa's application to have the electronic tolling of Gauteng's major roads scrapped.

The court ordered Outa to pay the legal costs of the application. Outa said it also intended appealing this order.

Outa was raising funds for the appeal, and called on business and the public to lend their support.

"We are heartened by the fact that society has helped us raise R8m to date, however we are still R2.5m short to cover current costs and still require an estimated R1.5m for the appeal process." Previously, Outa chairperson Musa Strachan said the organisation believed it had strong grounds for appeal.

The constitutional interpretation of Section 27 of the Sanral Act required that the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) should have given adequate notice to the public of the proposed project.

"Public participation requires that sufficient information about the project must be provided .... such that those impacted are empowered with knowledge and time to have the ability, if so required, to exert a possible effect on the outcome of the decision," he said.

Strachan said in the e-tolling case, public participation was not possible "yet the court ruled that public engagement was sufficient and adequate".

In this regard, Outa maintains that procedural and objective fairness had not been applied, making e-tolls introduction unlawful, he said.

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