Judgment reserved in e-toll case

OUTA believes government is not ready to implement the e-tolling project in its current form.

Gauteng e-tolls. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) on Wednesday rubbished claims that the e-toll interdict caused major economic harm.

The alliance insists that the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) is still not ready to launch the controversial project.

On Wednesday, the Constitutional Court heard government's challenge against an April interdict granted by the North Gauteng High Court bringing the e-tolls to a halt.

The challenge comes ahead of a full review of the project, scheduled to take place in late November.

Government maintains that Judge Bill Prinsloo had no right to intervene in the multibillion rand project and ignored the principle of separation of powers.

National Treasury and government lawyers claim the challenge against e-tolling amounts to trying to break down a fully-built hospital because of a potentially faulty turnstile.

Treasury lawyer Jeremy Gauntlett said, "If we rip out Sanral's main financial artery, it will mean trouble."

But Outa Advocate Alistair Franklin argued the interdict is temporary and government delayed its own project several times.

He said implementing an ineffective tolling scheme would result in disaster.

Judgment in the case has been reserved.