Deputy president to speak on e-tolling

A high court order in April prevented the e-tolling system from being implemented.

A high court order in April prevented the e-tolling system from being implemented.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will brief the media about the controversial Gauteng e-tolling system in Parliament on Thursday.

A high court order in April prevented the system from being implemented.

Motorists were expected to pay over 35 cents per kilometer to travel on some of Gauteng's freeways.

The hope is that Motlanthe will shed more light on the e-tolling system when he speaks to media.

Last week Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan made an unusual appeal to the Constitutional Court in a bid to set aside the court order halting the e-tolling project.

There are concerns that there will be a negative impact financially and economically if the order remains in place until a revision process. Government has warned its credit rating could take a dive if it cannot repay loans it took out to fund the system.

While many organisations are pushing for the system to be scrapped entirely Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane insists tolling will eventually go ahead despite resistance from the public.

Earlier this month, Cabinet decided to appeal the interim order halting e-tolling.

The North Gauteng High Court granted an urgent interdict against the controversial system several weeks ago.

Government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said it indicated that Cabinet will not budge on its commitment to the user pay principle and that Zuma and his Cabinet still believe that e-tolling is the best way forward for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.

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

The interdict followed an urgent court application by anti-toll group, Opposition To Urban Tolling Alliance.

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

Just over a week after the interdict was granted, Nazir Alli resigned from his post as South African National Roads Limited chief executive, casting more speculation over the e-toll system.

The inquiry is expected to get underway on a date set by the court and Sanral will hand over all documents relating to the project ahead of the inquiry.