Outa feeling good about appeal against high court ruling
THE Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) was optimistic on Friday after the lobby group was granted leave to appeal against a decision made by the high court in Pretoria in December.
Outa has been embroiled in a legal battle with the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) over the implementation of the controversial e-tolling system on Gauteng’s freeways.
Judge Louise Vorster allowed Outa to appeal against his December 13 judgment, which legally allowed Sanral and the Department of Transport to go ahead with the implementation of e-tolling. Outa will go to the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Outa chairman Wayne Duvenage said the alliance was optimistic about taking the matter to the Supreme Court of Appeal and that e-tolling could be ruled as unlawful.
"It means the judge said we are entitled to take our matter to the Supreme Court of Appeal. We still believe that we have a strong case so it’s off to Bloemfontein, where we will hopefully have e-tolling ruled unlawful," Mr Duvenage said.
He said Outa still had a strong argument in the "flawed consultation process" around e-tolling, and there was always a possibility of a court ruling differently.
Mr Duvenage also said support and donations continued to pour in for the fight for Outa to have e-tolling scrapped.
"We continue to receive support from the public and donations through our website and bank account. The last 24 hours R65,000 has been donated. That is encouraging stuff. I don’t want to create a picture that everything is hunky-dory. It isn’t. We still need about R3.5m. But this so far is an incredible feat," he said.
Mr Duvenage said Outa still maintained the authorities were still not ready to implement e-tolling, nearly two years after the original date for implementation in April 2011.
"It requires a high number of people to be tagged and people are not stupid. Sanral are claiming 500,000 tags were sold in September last year. Five months have gone and they are still claiming the same amount. A lot of those are not even public tags but for state fleets. There are 2.5-million freeway users. If they don’t get the rest tagged, they have an administrative disaster," he said.
Earlier this week Department of Transport spokesman Tiyani Rikhotso said the department was confident of implementing e-tolling as it had won the case to do so in two courts.
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