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Lawyer: Dismiss e-toll application

Nov 27 2012 17:04 Sapa

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Pretoria - The application to scratch the implementation of e-tolling in Gauteng should be dismissed and has no foundation, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

"There is no basis for the condemnation to be granted," SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) lawyer David Unterhalter said.

"The application has no foundation and it should simply be dismissed."

Unterhalter told the court the application was an "enormous cost" to Sanral.

In September, the Constitutional Court overturned an interim order which put a hold on the Gauteng e-tolling project. The Constitutional Court found the High Court in Pretoria had not considered the separation of powers between the high court and the executive.

On April 28, the high court granted the interdict to the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa), ruling that a full review needed to be carried out before electronic tolling could be put into effect.

The interdict prevented Sanral from levying or collecting e-tolls pending the outcome of the review.

Unterhalter argued Outa should pay legal costs if the application failed.

"If they fail, they must suffer the consequences. They chose to engage in this," he told the court.

Earlier, Unterhalter argued that all relevant civil society organisations representing Gauteng motorists knew about e-tolling and the user-pay principle when the project started in 2008, but did nothing until the tariffs were announced in 2011.

He said e-tolling was inevitable because the upgrades to Gauteng's highways had been completed, at a huge risk to Sanral.

"Tolling can't be undone. People drive on the upgraded roads every day. We are going to fund it through tolls. It has been decided."

Sanral and the Treasury had said the delays in implementing e-tolls had prevented the payment of R21 billion incurred in building gantries.
outa  |  sanral  |  e-tolls  |  tolls
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