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Outa slams Sanral

The cost of collecting e-toll fees could be much higher than expected, Outa said on Monday.

Gantries on Gauteng highway. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The cost of collecting e-toll fees could be much higher than expected, the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) said on Monday.

The alliance filed its answering affidavit in the Constitutional Court ahead of a possible appeal lodged by government.

In April, Pretoria's North Gauteng High Court granted an urgent interdict against the controversial Gauteng e-tolling system pending a review of the project.

But government is now arguing that Judge Bill Prinsloo went too far, and that the country is suffering irreparable economic harm as a result of his judgment.

Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage said a contract signed by the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) reveals that over 20 years, the cost of collecting fees could be R13 billion more than expected.

He said Sanral is still not ready to launch the system and that debt incurred to improve Gauteng highways is small when measured on a national scale.

"This is minuscule in the greater scheme of things".

Duvenage said the affidavit had nothing to do with the interdict.

"This has got to do with Sanral's inability to manage the funding process properly," he said.

While government remains committed to e-tolling, it is considering a bail-out bill for Sanral.

The alliance said a full review of the project is needed.

If implemented, e-tolling will see Gauteng motorists pay to use a 185 kilometre stretch of the N1, N3, N12 and R21 highways.