The world is not going to end with e-tolls: Sanral lawyers

No irreparable harm will be caused if e-tolling begins on Tuesday, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Monday.

“When they go under the gantries tomorrow, the world is not going to end… they will just pay tolls,” said David Unterhalter SC, for the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral).

He said there was no urgency for the application, and that it should be struck from the roll.

The Freedom Front Plus has made a last minute application to try and stop the implementation of e-tolling, which is due to start on Tuesday (3 December).

Jeremy Gauntlett SC, for Transport Minister Dipuo Peters, said the application was irregular.

He said information contained in the affidavit by the FFPlus suggested that the minister rigged the e-toll implementation date to December 3.

“It is a dangerous allegation… and an abuse,” said Gauntlett, asking that the application be struck from the roll.

Outa defiant

There is no need for motorists to buy e-tags to use Gauteng’s freeways, the Opposition To Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) said on Monday.

“There is no law that requires road users to buy an e-tag or register with Sanral [the SA National Roads Agency Limited] in order to use Gauteng’s freeways,” said chairman Wayne Duvenage.

He said getting an e-tag had nothing to do with being law abiding.

“[But] while getting e-tagged and registering with Sanral has nothing to do with being law abiding, what it does is to make Sanral’s task of enforcing e-tolling easier.”

He said road users should be aware that getting an e-tag and registering with Sanral placed road users on Sanral’s system and bound them to a contract to pay e-tolls.

“Getting e-tagged also limits the right of road users to object to paying tolls and to resist an unjust system.”

He alleged that e-tolling was unlawful because, among others, Sanral had failed to comply with the law when it was supposed to properly inform the public of the intent to toll Gauteng’s freeways at the outset.

Also, because it allegedly failed to conduct the legally required public participation procedure in October 2007 for the N1, N3, N4 and N12 and April 2008 for the R21.

Outa has unsuccessfully tried to stop the introduction of e-tolling through court action.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters announced on November 20 that e-tolling of Gauteng’s highways will begin on Tuesday.

The High Court in Pretoria is hearing a case brought by the Freedom Front Plus on the grounds that Peters made a technical error and got the start date wrong. FFPlus argued the e-tolling should have started only on December 4.

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The world is not going to end with e-tolls: Sanral lawyers