Johannesburg - Reasons given by the High Court in Pretoria
for granting an interim interdict against e-tolling were vague and unclear, the
Constitutional Court heard on Wednesday.
National Treasury lawyer Jeremy Gauntlett said High Court
Judge Bill Prinsloo did not provide adequate reasons for his decision to grant
"With respect, what he does... is tick the individual
interdict boxes, and to say each time that it (the reason) is there."
He said it was difficult for the parties to determine how he
had come to his conclusions.
"It is the beginning of vagueness."
The interdict by the High Court in Pretoria, brought by the
Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa), was granted on April 28.
It instructed that a full review needed to be carried out
before electronic tolling of Gauteng's highways could be put into effect.
The SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) and National
Treasury are appealing against the court order.
Gauntlett argued on Wednesday there was a lack of concern
about the financial implications of the interdict in Outa's founding affidavit.
He said it predicted harm, and that the harm would fall solely on Sanral, but
nothing was further analysed.
"It leaves out, spectacularly, public interest."
Gauntlett said it was wholly unrealistic to grant an
interdict against the project when it was ready to begin.
"I know it's all been built. What this fight about is
how it is (to be) paid (for)."
He likened this to having built a stadium and reviewing it
based merely on how its turnstiles functioned.
Gauntlett said the interdict, by acknowledging that the
government had decided to take-on Sanral's debts, would unfairly affect the
entire country's economy.
"Government ends up robbing Peter to pay Paul. Where
Paul are road users who have claimed this wonderful world-class transport
facility, and Peter are the people in other provinces."
Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke asked why, if the
government was so opposed to the interdict, would it agree to so many
Gauntlett said one of the four postponements was for
technical reasons, while the others were about public concerns.
He said the court, through acknowledging the idea of the
separation of powers, should grant the appeal.
"Therefore we ask for the application to be allowed and
for the appeal to be upheld," Gauntlett said, closing his argument.
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