OUTA is pleased at being granted leave to appeal the High Court
judgement of 13 December 2012, and expresses the alliance’s sincere
belief that their case to halt eTolls has strong grounds, which we
trust will eventually obtain the ruling that SANRAL’s current eToll
plans are illegal.
There is no doubting the fact that society has overwhelmingly rejected
this plan as too expensive, inefficient, unworkable and a most
irrational waste of their money. OUTA has never denounced the benefit
and need for the freeway upgrade, and neither has it argued that
society does not need to pay for the upgrade. We have simply
indicated that projects of this nature require the correct and
meaningful public participation process to be undertaken and with the
best interests of society being considered at all times and that this
project is extremely costly and onerous on society.
We are mindful of the fact that SANRAL can proceed with eTolling in
the meantime, until the appeal is heard later in the year at the
Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), but they will have to do so knowing
full well that the SCA could rule the scheme as illegal, in which case
it may have to be halted.
We also note that it was in August 2012 that SANRAL argued in the
Constitutional Court their readiness to launch within two weeks of the
interdict being set aside. We are now four months beyond that ruling
and eTolling is still unable to launch. Their systems continue to
undergoing testing and a number of regulatory matters are still
outstanding. In fact, it is now almost two years beyond their first
planned launch date of April 2011, and they are unable to launch. We
believe this is a significant signal of the administratively
burdensome nature and unworkability of this project.
OUTA calls for a public release of the recommendations for eTolling to
commence, provided to cabinet by the Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC)
last year. In addition, OUTA also looks forward to the release of
feedback from the Department of Transport on the views expressed by
the public during their public engagement sessions, along with the
summary of the thousands of public submissions on tariffs and
exemptions conducted during November.
OUTA wishes to thank the thousands of citizens and hundreds of
businesses that have contributed to funding this campaign and we urge
all citizens and businesses to continue to assist with donations
toward the legal costs of the case. Thus far, we have successfully
raised over R8 million and are over two thirds of the way to our
target of R11.8 million. Donations can be made at www.outa.co.za
Submitted by Wayne Duvenage
Chairperson – OUTA
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