Last-minute attempts to bring e-tolling system to a screeching halt
Civil society, Cosatu and the DA are pulling out all stops in last-minute attempts to have the controversial e-tolling system scrapped.
Court applications have been filed by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) and Afrikaner lobby group AfriForum. The DA and Cosatu planned to protest in the streets.
Outa would be in the Pretoria High Court today to seek an urgent interdict to stop the launch of the e-tolling system on April 30.
The alliance's chairman Wayne Duvenhage said yesterday: "This is so as to give judges time to review arguments in the matter and then make a decision on whether to have the system outlawed or not. The entire e-tolling process is very complex and expensive, and it's going to be costly to manage."
The issue of summonses was also a key point of Outa's argument. Duvenhage said the implementation of e-tolling would put added pressure on an already strained criminal justice system as the number of monthly summonses sent to motorists who didn't pay their toll fees would increase "considerably".
"More than 10%, even 15%, of road users would be non-compliant and this will lead to a huge amount of summonses. There will be lots of non-compliance ."
Outa estimated that more than a million summonses would be issued per month.
The South African National Roads Agency Limited's (Sanral) argument, was that it would suffer a loss of income if the levying of tolls was delayed, and that it would be forced to renege on its agreement with Electronic Toll Collection (ETC), which Sanral had contracted to collect the tolls.
The National Treasury has also applied for leave to intervene in the case.
The DA, meanwhile, planned to show its support for Outa by protesting outside the courthouse today from 10am. Spokeswoman Kelly Miller said its members would be out in full force, and called on the public and other organisations to join them.
Cosatu, which has a membership of two million, was planning countrywide mass protests. A protest was planned at Sanral's offices tomorrow, spokesman Patrick Craven said.
Sanral yesterday took out full-page newspaper adverts showing a map of the tolled roads. The system affects a 185km stretch of the N1, N3, N12 and R21 around Johannesburg and Tshwane.