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Urgency to finalise e-tolling case

OUTA hopes the court will grant an interdict to stop Gauteng's e-tolling.

DA e-toll protesters outside the North Gauteng High Court on 24 April 2012.
Cosatu,etolls,SANRAL,etolling,etoll,OUTA,Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance,South African National Roads Agency Limited,Owen Bloomberg
Local

JOHANNESBURG - The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) said on Wednesday it hoped the court will grant an interdict to stop Gauteng's e-tolling by Thursday. 

The North Gauteng High Court on Wednesday ruled that the application the alliance had brought was urgent and must be dealt with before its imminent launch on Monday. 

The urgency ruling was seen as an important victory for the alliance.

The pressure was now on to finalise this case by the end of Thursday, as Friday is a public holiday.

“We cannot allow a situation to arise where judgment is not given before d-day,” one of the alliance’s lawyers, Owen Bloomberg, told Eyewitness News.

He said winning on urgency was crucial.

“This is significant because had we not won this, we would have had the difficulty in court three or four months from now to deal with this situation which is already a fait accompli.”

All three parties will try to get through their arguments as quickly as possible and a court could sit through the lunch break or after hours to reach a verdict.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said it was also considering submitting an application for a court interdict to stop e-tolling in Gauteng.

Provincial Chairperson Phutas Tseki said, “Cosatu is on the verge of submitting an application for a court interdict, as well.”

Meanwhile, government showed no signs of bowing to pressure to scrap the system.

In his budget vote to parliament, Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele reiterated government's commitment to the e-toll system.

The minister said majority of people who use the Gauteng highways have already bought their e-tags.

He told parliament that 501,245 e-tags have so far been sold and distributed to regular users.

“This is a clear indication that people are cooperating with us.”

(Edited by Clare Matthes)

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