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Outa prepares for e-toll court battle

Outa’s legal team will meet on Tuesday to wrap-up preparations ahead of a court battle over e-tolling.

Tolls sign. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) on Monday said its legal team would meet on Tuesday to wrap-up preparations ahead of a Constitutional Court battle over e-tolling.

On Wednesday, the alliance will defend an interdict it obtained against the controversial project after it was appealed by government.

A full review of e-tolling is then expected to start in late November, at which point the system's fate will be decided.

In 2007, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) incurred a R20 million debt to fund the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP). Income from e-tolls was expected to service that debt and other associated operating costs.

The alliance's chairperson, Wayne Duvenage, said the Constitutional Court case cuts to the heart of whether citizens can challenge government policy decisions in court.

He said they were ready to defend a crucial aspect of democracy.

"Our legal team and senior counsellors have prepared all the necessary documentation. They're meeting again just to prepare themselves and fine-tune the argument. I think we're as ready as ever."

The alliance has so far raised over R5 million for the legal battle, but needs to reach twice that to cover the costs.

At the same time, the Democratic Alliance's application to join the case was rejected on Monday.

If implemented, e-tolling will see motorists paying up to 35c/km to travel on some of Gauteng's roads.