Everyone but govt upset over e-tolls

2012-09-20 14:40

Johannesburg - The Automobile Association vowed on Thursday to fight the introduction of e-tolling in Gauteng after a Constitutional Court ruling that lifted a hold on its introduction.

"We remain committed to fight e-tolling in Gauteng and we continue to urge our members to not register for e-tags, as we still believe in an equitable solution," said Gary Ronald, head of public affairs at the AA, following Thursday's judgment.

"This ruling shows little consideration for the serious impact that tolling will have on the already financially-stretched consumer and the added cost to business in the province," he said.

The court ruled earlier in the day that an interim order granted by the High Court in Pretoria on April 28, which put a hold on the project, be set aside.

It concluded that the high court had not considered the separation of powers between high court and executive.

Earlier, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) was adamant that there would be no tolling on Gauteng's freeways.

"We are going to resist it with every power we have," Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi told reporters on the sidelines of Cosatu's 11th national congress in Midrand.

Meanwhile the government welcomed the ruling.

"The ruling reaffirms government's conviction that the North (Gauteng) High Court had erred in its judgement which interferes with policy making, a responsibility of the executive," a statement following Thursday's ruling said.

"Government respects the right of any member of the public to approach the courts to review its decisions and operations within the country's legal framework," the statement from Transport Department Director General George Mahlalala said.

"Government remains convinced about the appropriateness of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP), with the user-pay principle as part of our country's investment in road infrastructure and our collective drive to grow the economy," he said.

The development of a country's road infrastructure played a critical role in building its economy and sustaining its growth by facilitating the movement of goods and services across the country.

Government would study the judgment and make an announcement on the way forward soon.

Outa leader Wayne Duvenage said it wouldn't be possible for the government to start tolling "tomorrow" because there were still outstanding issues to be dealt with.

"They can't start e-tolling tomorrow," he said.

The issues include tariff exemptions and other work to get the project up and running again.

The actual review hearing will take place in November.

Outa will hold a media briefing later on Thursday.

The Constitutional Court declined the Democratic Alliance and Road Freight Association's applications as friends of the court.

The DA's Gauteng caucus leader Jack Bloom said Sanral would find it difficult to implement the e-tolls in the face of widespread public opposition.

Legislation to implement the tolls had also still not been passed in Parliament.

"The DA will oppose this so that the public are treated fairly in this matter," he said in a statement.

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  • andre.stols.581 - 2012-09-20 15:01

    The answer is simple-DO NOT VOTE ANC at the next election. I hope the many existing ANC voters understand this and many other issues where your government is not looking after the people(and by the way,you do not have to be scared that the govt will know what you vote-this is not possible,so relax and vote diiferent next time)

      henk.vanrensburg.31 - 2012-09-20 15:14

      You are barking into thin air! Rather the devil they know mos!

      claudia.meads - 2012-09-20 19:02

      The North Gauteng High Court may have erred on the separation between the powers the high court and the executive, but the ANC erred on the separation of itself, from the people. The TOLL-GATE scandal (could it have been more poetic?) will have a greater impact on the ANC than Marikana will...

  • gerald.king.589 - 2012-09-20 16:05

    Juju where are you. You're on a roll scoring points with crowds already -quick, tell gucci can wait...

  • adam.gardener.12 - 2012-09-20 17:37

    Vote DA, if you have a brain.

  • atoffie - 2012-09-20 17:49

    Zuma why don't you be honourable and take our salaries and put in into he ANC's account rather than stealing it from us in diffrent ways. You steal like this...... 1) PAYE is not fair..we all now that 2) VAT, nowhere charged in Africa 3) Fuel levies 4) RATES AND TAXES...YOU OVER VALUE OUR HOUSES ABOVE MARKET PRICES 5) Capital Gains TAX 6) Renewal of car licenes 7) Renewal of driver's licence at an astronimical price 8) AD Valorem duty and vat for all imported goods. 9) You took bread away from the poor(Over R10 for a loaf of a basic neccessity) I see a mass exodus of intellectuals (Never seen before) leaving the country. Indians and coloureds .....wake and smell the coffee, you are no longer non white. After the ANC won the elections, you became white by default. Dont be fooled by THE REPRESENTATION of Trevor Manuel and Pravin Gordan in parliament, they are looking after their pay packages, they will be kicked out of the ANC as soon as the skills transfer is over. To all thoe that siad I wont voet....this where your vote went to. All minotities must join and become one oppstiona dn that is we the voters should insist in the future. Wwe cannot fight the OPPRESSOR if we are divided. Lets get our small political parties united ino one major oppostion and the two thirds majority can go FY.

      punungwe - 2012-09-20 19:25

      Here are some VAT rates from other African countries Uganda - 18% Zambia - 16% Zimbabwe - 15% Angola - 10% Botswana - 10% Burkina Faso - 18% Burundi - 18% Cameron - 19.25% At 14% South African VAT rate is not the worst, nor best but average.

  • justin.massyn - 2012-09-20 18:12

    If you guys, that being the ANC now, had even a semi credible record in spending our money in the right places and on the right things, then just maybe we wouldn't have such a massive issue with this. But alas, you don't.............

  • punungwe - 2012-09-20 19:19

    The bottom line is you don't embark on projects of this size without doing a proper pilot project. Instead of starting with 42 gantries, the government should have started with maybe 5 or so gantries and proceeded carefully while closely monitoring the feedback. As it is they are between a rock and a hard place - they have already made a massive commitment, and they are now faced with spirited public opposition. Public opposition could translate into a massive political cost for the ANC government. Already a key ally, COSATU, is making grumbling very, very loudly. Whoever came up with this plan was mistaken to think that they could just hold the public to ransom in a pay-or-else scenario. They should have carefully considered what was affordable to the public, and limited their ambitions to within those cost parameters. The use pay principle does work, but yo generally do not apply it where the user has to pay every day. You are bound to meet massive resistance.

  • atoffie - 2012-09-20 19:48

    The Governement are thieves and they make no moans and grown about it.

  • hugh.robinson.56 - 2012-09-20 20:06

    If the court has no power over the state then what protection do we have against an abusive state that decrees for instance that everyone with a home must give it away to the poor.

  • amanda.matthews.14811 - 2012-09-20 20:24

    "It concluded that the High Court had not considered the separation of powers between High Court and the Executive". There lies the rub. Back to High Court we go.

  • jay.vyas.984 - 2012-09-20 21:42

    Dear Gauteng Road Users. This Govt will go to any length to get e Tolling back on track. They will even manipulate, threaten and corrupt the Justice System! Stand FIRM and DEFIANT! Continue the Fight! I will NEVER Buy an e Tag.... At Worst, I will use alternate roads! Stand Up and FIGHT THIS CORRUPT ANC Govt! The SA OVERTAXED Citizens' war continues. DO NOT BUY an e-TAG .... EVER!!!! Stop using the e-Toll Gantry Routes!!! It is called PASSIVE RESISTANCE - Hurt SCAMRAL - Just be Smart!!!

      Thebigguyjim - 2012-09-21 13:15

      Use the roads, Just don't register and don't pay.

  • jay.kganyago.5 - 2012-09-21 05:16

    E-tolling is highway robbery

  • warwick.railton.7 - 2012-09-21 07:49

    Bottom line, to hell with sanral & their anc puppet masters. To get tagged is to condone this corruption - start the fight back, do not get tolled what to do! We will beat these halfwits, we are the ungovernable force. Up yer bum sanral.

  • warwick.railton.7 - 2012-09-21 07:52

    The high court is supposed to protect the citizens from government abuse, not tow the party line. So a big no vote of confidence in the high court. And these anc clowns wonder why the people are so angry.

  • itumeleng.mogaki - 2012-09-21 07:55


  • sannettw - 2012-09-21 09:05


  • cobus.kriel.94 - 2012-09-24 11:57

    Tolling of roads is not be a political issue and in South Africa tolling of National roads has been a fact of life for many years before the ANC came to power. The campaign against the tolling of the Gauteng Freeways are mainly driven by people, who, based on their own arguments, has no knowledge of the cost of construction and maintenance of high standard roads, or understanding that an improved road infrastructure will reduce costs of transport for the public and businesses. It will also create jobs during the construction and maintenance periods. In fact, the loss of R30 billion (R10b in the WC and R20b in Gauteng)in construction funding during the first half of this year has caused a recession in the civil engineering construction domain, which has not helped job creation. One good reason for tolling freeways is to reduce the traffic volume in order to maintain the higher speed for which these roads are designed, also during peak times. In Gauteng there are numerous alternative free of charge city roads are available. It is logical that only people who are willing to pay for a a high speed facility should be given access to it. I, for one who has always supported the DA and its predecessors back to the Progressive Party, find the DA's objection against privatising part of our road infrastructure improper. This opportunistic move, after a proposal earlier this year, which I support, to privatise many existing state owned enterprises is a serious mistake.

      rory.short1 - 2012-10-02 11:35

      We combine together into communities in order to provide the things which we could not provide as individuals and roads are one of those things. Thus roads are one of the things that the collective, i.e.governments, should provide for the the community especially as roads are as essential to the economic health of the community, and the individuals within it, as is fresh air to the health of the individual citizen. Thus we need to think very carefully indeed before venturing into utilising the collective's power on projects which will not, through no fault of their own, be freely accessible to all citizens. The Gauteng freeways fall into this category. Firstly they were constructed under the authority of the collective, i.e. Government, but now through the manner in which the costs of their construction are to be recovered, i.e. e-tolling, access to them is to be confined only to those who have money for the e-tolls. If e-tolling's sole purpose was the management of traffic congestion on the freeways that would make them acceptable but the tolls are also to be used to defray the capital costs of the roads whereas those capital costs should actually come from the public purse so that outside of peak hours the use of the freeways remains free to the individual user.

  • rory.short1 - 2012-10-02 10:18

    Hopefully what government is learning from the e-tolling upset is that the first thing that you need for good government is open and honest discussion with the public about issues, particularly on matters which will directly impact on the lives and livelihoods of the people.

  • Snoopy Rudzani Zoom Zoom - 2014-07-07 06:46

    This sucks

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