E-toll judgement underway

Judge Bill Prinsloo started delivering judgment on an urgent application to halt the Gauteng e-toll project in the High Court in Pretoria on Saturday.

By - April 28, 2012
e-Toll logo and gantry

He started by summarising what had been said in court the past few days, saying the court record consisted of 2500 papers.

“I am forced to hand down this ruling on a long weekend,” said Prinsloo.

He said 19 legal counsel appeared before him for this case, ten of them being senior counsel.

“I am indebted to all of them for their well structured and useful contribution,” said Prinsloo.

An application was made this week by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) for an urgent interdict to stop the launch of the system, so that a full court review could be carried out to decide if it should be scrapped or not.

Outa lawyer Alistair Franklin this week argued that the system was unreasonable as it had disproportionate costs attached to it.

The scheme had been postponed five times since April last year.

On Thursday, it was announced by the transport department that the e-toll system would be postponed until May 30.

This was to finalise regulations and administrative issues from the public and interested stakeholders

E-tolling was initially due to be implemented on Monday on 185 kilometres of highway in the province.

Prinsloo said the fifth postponed that happened on Thursday afternoon was not part of the issue before him.

If the e-toll project had kicked in on Monday, motorcycles with e-tags will pay 20 cents a kilometre and those without, 38 cents. Light motor vehicles will pay 30 cents and 58 cents respectively, and non-articulated trucks 75 cents and R1.45.

Articulated trucks with e-tags will pay R1.51 a kilometre, and those without R2.90. The cost for motorcycles and light vehicles will be capped at R550 a month.

SA National Roads Agency Limited said motorists who did not register for e-tags will pay a three times higher punitive rate for using the new toll roads.

The agency cited costs associated with recovering payment, including invoicing and debt collection, as reasons for the R1.75c punitive tariff per kilometre, compared to the standard tariff of 30c per kilometre for registered users.

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