e-Tolls Media Release

OUTA lodges responding affidavit

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) has lodged its responding affidavit on Saturday 21st April, as it seeks to urgently interdict the implementation of SANRAL’s plan to toll Gauteng’s freeways on the 30th April.  The matter will be heard in the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday 24th April.

“I cannot thank our legal and administrative team enough” says Wayne Duvenage, the Chairperson of OUTA. “They have worked long into the nights and prepared a strong case on solid grounds and arguments against the respondent’s affidavits with clarity and soundness.  It is a case we have prepared well for and we are hopeful of a positive outcome”.

The legal challenge was very thoroughly approached with the overarching arguments presented from the outset as follows:-

  • The irrationality and unreasonableness of e-tolling as a method of revenue collection for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.
  • The inefficiencies and unnecessary expense to the road users as a result of e-tolling as the chosen funding mechanism.
  • The serious lack of meaningful engagement and consultation with the people who will ultimately be paying for this upgrade.

The OUTA responding affadavit is available on its website at www.outa.co.za. Visitors are encouraged to register as a supporter of OUTA

Even at this late stage, SANRAL are still to answer  so many questions regarding e-tolling and are currently rushing into a process which even they themselves, let alone the Gauteng commuters, are ready for. Such an example is the fact that the exemption notice still requires responses from the public by the 9th May 2012, yet e-Tolls are supposed to commence on April 30th.

This is not a matter of a few unhappy people who are opposed to e-tolling.  This is a matter of the vast majority of citizens from all segments of the population who are opposed to what can only be described as an unjust, unnecessary and costly taxation which has been thrust upon them.

The main focus of the arguments from SANRAL and the government are the benefits accrued to motorists from the infrastructure upgrade and that the users must pay.  OUTA and the growing masses of e-toll opponents are not disputing the need to upgrade Gauteng freeways nor are we rejecting the notion that these upgrades must be paid for, we simply cannot accept to do so in a manner that is unacceptably onerous to the citizens.

E-tolling at current rates with expected escalations will generate in excess of R102bn over the next 20 years for an infrastructure that costs only R32bn (including interest) over the same period.  This means that R70bn will have been overpaid by the public, an amount that will be wasted on an elaborate and inefficient administration and collection scheme in which foreign and local companies along with SANRAL will be enriched.

OUTA wishes to express its gratitude to the thousands of supporters that have been behind the legal challenge and now that the papers have been lodged, we can only hope for the interdict to be successful, which will then allow us the time required to grant this matter the full review it requires to argue the strength of the case to halt e-tolling of Gauteng’s and other cities freeways in South Africa.

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