Tolls committee meets cabinet

2012-10-24 19:44 - Sapa
Johannesburg - The inter-ministerial committee (IMC) on e-tolling met Cabinet on Wednesday, government spokesperson Thabo Masebe said.

"I can confirm that the IMC did report to Cabinet on the consultations and made recommendations," he said.

"However, I can't tell you more about the recommendations, but Cabinet would make an announcement at the post-Cabinet briefing. I don't speak for Cabinet, so I can't say what would be announced."

The government's plans to introduce e-tolling in Gauteng have provoked stiff opposition from motorists and residents of South Africa's economic heartland.

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) said it would not be surprised if the IMC had indicated that e-tolling would be pursued.

"We have clearly read between the lines with all our interactions with them, and all the signs point to e-tolls being implemented," Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage said.

"They are more likely to recommend to reduce the fees and get funding from increasing the fuel levy and other measures. But the consultation process happened too late."

Duvenage said Outa had done research on other countries, including Britain and America, where e-tolls were implemented and collapsed.

"We are not saying don't pay for the roads, it's just the mechanism being used to pay... It's government's role to implement mechanisms that have the least negative effect on society."

Last month, the Constitutional Court overturned an interim order which had put a hold to the Gauteng e-tolling project.

On April 28 the High Court in Pretoria granted Outa the interdict, 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.

Sanral and National Treasury appealed against the order, and said the delays prevented recouping the payment incurred in building the freeways and gantries.

The review was expected take place in the High Court in Pretoria on November 26.

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