E-toll appeal plans condemned

2012-05-17 17:19

Johannesburg - Cabinet's decision to appeal against the high court in Pretoria's interim order against e-tolling was condemned by opposition parties on Thursday.

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) described the decision as "regrettable".

This would further delay the finalisation of litigation around the project.

"We believe the review application would shed important light on various issues, including the contacts relating to the cost of collection," said ACDP spokesperson Steve Swart in a statement.

"It is significant that the minister of transport has requested copies of various contracts, indicating that he too was unaware of the exact costs of collection."

Swart said the ACDP would inquire whether the National Treasury would bail out the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), and if so, to what extent this would be.

"It seems at the end of the day the taxpayer will have to pay for this debacle, either in the form of user charges, should the court challenge be unsuccessful, or in the form of a bailout from National Treasury," he said.

The Freedom Front Plus said the government was showing its contempt for taxpayers with its decision to appeal.

"Government is trying to prove a point with taxpayer's money," said FFPlus spokesperson Anton Alberts in a statement.

"Government did not consider road users before the Gauteng e-toll system was constructed and is now ignoring the overwhelming opposition by taxpayers and road users to the toll roads."

His party was of the opinion that there were not sufficient legal grounds for the government to succeed in its appeal.

The Justice Project of SA (JPSA) expressed disappointment at cabinet's decision.

It was sad to see the government persist with its stance in the face of such overwhelmingly public opposition, it said.

"We also need to ask whether the intention to appeal the interdict has anything to do with an attempt to halt a full inquiry into the project in order to cover up possible corruption or not," it said in a statement.

It called for the issue to be put up for referendum.

"A ringfenced fuel levy will achieve the objectives of paying for these roads and others still to come in a far more efficient and less costly manner," it said.

The Democratic Alliance said cabinet's decision to appeal was "foolish and doomed to fail".

The interim order issued by Judge Bill Prinsloo was unlikely to be overturned, as sound reasons had been given for it, DA spokesperson Jack Bloom said.

"Government's appeal will just drag out the court proceedings, creating further uncertainty in the credit markets."

He was puzzled by the government's hard line, as Sanral had itself indicated it would not appeal the case.

"It would be far better if government cancelled the e-toll collection contract, rather than continue with a long, drawn-out court battle," he said.

Cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said earlier the government would appeal against the interim order. He said the government only received a written copy of the April 28 judgment late on Wednesday.

"As we are sitting here, our lawyers are studying the judgment and will advise the executive in due course," he told a fortnightly post-cabinet briefing.

  • Frank - 2012-05-17 17:29

    Nothing has changed if you dont buy the tag and they have to collect the logistics will out pace them.

      Adam - 2012-05-17 17:34

      It seems the anc is taking a HUGE chance. Elections will go against them if they are going to now prove they dont care for the people.

      Koos - 2012-05-17 19:12

      Either the government is not getting it, or I am not getting it (which admittedly, is possible). Adding some 5c or 10c per litre for Gauteng users should pay for it. * With ZERO collection fees * With ALL the money staying in the country (supposedly a national objective?) * Without us avoiding tolled highways (using more fuel and spending more time on the road)... * ...which in turn leaves a smaller carbon footprint. * And without us overburdening alternative routes – leading to severe congestion on such roads, * ... which in turn will require extra maintenance of such alternative routes - paid for by whom? Where the heck are the holes in his argument? Help out please.

  • Charles-Bronson - 2012-05-17 17:35

    This clearly indicate the goverment does not care about the opinion of the people of this country. They try to cover-up the corruption tenders and now try to hide the theifs stealing the peoples money.

  • kobie.nel1 - 2012-05-17 17:43

    "It was sad to see the government persist with its stance in the face of such overwhelmingly public opposition, it said" I wish people will start to understand the mind we are working with here. It is simple idiotic arrogance of a power mad low IQ gang. They connot believe that anybody can or will go against them. Now they are unable to work out another way to get out of the problem, so they will just keep on repeating the same game to try and get the same thing working. There is just no believe or ability to re-rout and improvice. I think it was one BIG shock to them that anybody could stand up to "DA BIG ONE"

  • kobus.hattingh.5 - 2012-05-17 18:10

    It stupidity was an illness, we would all have been at the ANC's funeral already. But then again, let us enjou seeing them self destruct. That's payment enough :)

  • kobus.hattingh.5 - 2012-05-17 18:11

    It stupidity was an illness, we would all have been at the ANC's funeral already. But then again, let us enjoy seeing them self destruct. That's payment enough :)

  • Grant - 2012-05-17 19:29

    Without a fully functional public transport system, that cost 1/10 of using private transport, IT WILL NEVER WORK TO TOLL ROADS !!!!

  • Allan - 2012-05-18 16:55

    We are using tax payers money to fight tax payers to pay more tax???

  • Freddy - 2012-05-19 10:16

    The Cabinet's decision is a "knee jerk" desperation to extract more money to cover up abuse of taxpayers money that is already being paid by means of licence fees on road vehicles, fuel levies as well as handling fees on e-natis. Cabinet spokesman Jimmy Manyi is still trying to prove that they can "flog a dead horse" and still get life out of it.

  • Warwick - 2012-05-21 09:41

    The anc has egg on their faces - losers in all respects.............and no respects from us, Joe public. sanral & Co can go screw a landmine for all I care, we will not be 'tolled' what to do.

  • elkita.robbertse - 2012-05-21 10:37

    The Anc is fast running out of control.something wrong with this e tolling.Looks like the anc is on their last legs.

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