'Sanral ready to implement e-tolls'

Sanral says its systems are capable and efficient enough to collect money for e-tolling.

Members of the Democratic Alliance demonstrate during the e-toll case at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 15 August 2012. Picture: Sapa

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) on Wednesday assured the Constitutional Court that it can successfully collect money from motorists using e-tolling.

The top court is hearing 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 controversial project, scheduled to take place in late November.

National Treasury told the court the interdict has massive economic consequences on South Africa and should be overturned.

Sanral's advocate David Unterhalter said they know some motorists will try to avoid paying for the roads.

"It is true that there will be some people who won't pay, but that does not mean the system is not ready or incapable of practical application."

Unterhalter said not all offenders will have to be prosecuted, but an example can be made of a few.

He also defended the 'user-pay' principle, saying it is government's duty to determine the best funding model.

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) is expected to respond to the claims later on Wednesday.

If implemented, the project will see motorist paying 30cents per kilometre to use most Gauteng highways.