Following numerous calls to support the challenge to oppose the electronic tolling of our freeways in Gauteng, OUTA was established in February 2012 by a collective of concerned business associations* to form a coordinated strategy to oppose e-Tolling of Gauteng’s freeways. After consultation with an experienced legal team, our legal challenge to halt e-tolling was lodged in time to enable a judgment prior to the planned Gauteng e-Toll launch at the end of April 2012.
After successfully interdicting the start of e-tolls on 29 April 2012, the next 18 months saw the review case unfold into a situation, whereby on 9th October 2013, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) set aside OUTA’s legal review challenge, due to a technical ruling on the time it took to bring the matter to court. OUTA had one of two choices to make, to pack up and abandon its cause, or to continue with the challenge in the strong belief that, for a number of reasons (as listed on this web site – http://www.outa.co.za/site/about-outa/why-we-oppose-e-tolling/), the Gauteng Freeway e-toll plan is a significant injustice to the road users and the country as a whole. The committee chose to continue the challenge and thereby ensure its strategies and effort will expose the unlawfulness of e-tolling are heard in the courts, if and when it is appropriate to do so (at which OUTA will plan provide assistance, should the public rise to the occasion and fund the legal costs thereof). Additionally, OUTA will seek to co-ordinate the efforts of the main stakeholders that oppose the e-toll, thereby ensuring that society remains informed on the pertinent issues, research and other matters thereof.
It is also important that in our quest to halt this ill-conceived plan, that we remain mindful of the following three points:-
- We support the need for the GFIP (Gauteng Freeway Improvement Plan) and for all future urban and other route construction and improvements, as and when these become necessary to meet our transportation needs in South Africa.
- We support the role of the South African Government in its endeavor to formulate equitable solutions in striving to meet the needs of all its citizens.
- We challenge this e-toll decision because we believe it has not been taken with the best interests of society in mind. We believe that, besides our past legal challenge which has been set aside on the technical issue of ‘lateness’ of the challenge, the lawfulness of the conduct of SANRAL when having the Gauteng Freeways as being tolled roads still requires full ventilation and hearing in court.
Without roads, modern societies grind to a halt. Without adequate and well maintained roads, societies will remain inefficient and uncompetitive. Over time, our roads will require maintenance, repairs, expansion and upgrading – this is a fact of life that we and authorities have the responsibility to plan and provide for – in order to keep pace with a growing economy.
In addition, it is important to know that the Presidential Commission for the Review of State Owned entities recommended (#21) that ‘social infrastructure, including roads, should rely less on user pays funding mechanisms and more on normal taxation.
Until the ill-conceived Gauteng e-toll plan was mooted, urban roads (ie the social infrastructure we use daily to get to and from work, church, schools, sport etc) was paid for using taxes and the fuel levy. E-tolling is regarded as an inefficient, costly and unnecessary additional burden on road users. This forms the overarching basis of our opposition to e-tolling, with a list of more detail about why we oppose e-tolling and the grounds thereof available on this site.
OUTA’s founding business associations:-
- SAVRALA (SA Vehicle Renting and Leasing Association)
- QASA (QuadPara Association of SA)
- SANCU (SA National Consumer Union)
- RMI (Retail Motor Industries)
- SATSA (SA Travel Services Association)
- AASA (Automobile Association of SA)