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Tolling saga could go to ConCourt

An appeal has been launched to have the ConCourt rule on the tolling saga.

Toll gantry on a Gauteng highway. Picture: SAPA
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Local

JOHANNESBURG - It emerged on Wednesday that the legal battle over e-tolling is headed for the Constitutional Court.

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) confirmed it received appeal documents from the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), the National Treasury and four others.

This comes just a day before Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe is due to host a 'reveal all' briefing following an investigation by a ministerial committee.

The alliance said it has received a set of affidavits used to petition the Constitutional Court to hear the appeal.

Last week government announced its intention to challenge Judge Bill Prinsloo's judgment which was handed down late last month.

At the time, there was no clarity on where the legal battle would be fought and what grounds government will rely on.

The alliance said it was disappointed by the appeal, but was ready to oppose it.

It said it spent weeks in meetings with politicians and believed progress was being made to find common ground and possibly a solution.

It was not yet clear when the appeal will be heard.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Friday demanded that Sanral paid its debt through partial recovery from road users.

Gordhan was delivering his budget vote in Parliament one day after cabinet announced it would appeal an interim interdict order halting e-tolls in Gauteng.

Gordhan reminded members of Parliament that the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project was not funded by government revenue and reiterated government’s commitment to e-tolls.

Gordhan said cabinet will be looking at all mechanisms to support Sanral which he projects will lose R200m a month without e-toll collections.

In April, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria placed the project on hold pending the outcome of a legal review.

The project was due to launch on April 30, before the interdict was granted.

The African National Congress (ANC) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) agreed to a postponement until the end of May, so that alternative funding could be investigated.

(Edited by Clare Matthes)

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