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Govt. delays e-toll announcement

Govt. has delayed the announcement of the implementation of e-tolls.

Toll road gantry on one of Gauteng's highways. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Government will not make an announcement on the implementation of e-tolls until it has finalised its consultations, it said on Thursday.

Earlier this week, officials indicated a statement would be made on Friday.

Two weeks ago, the Constitutional Court overturned a North Gauteng High Court order preventing the implementation of the programme, pending a full judicial review in November.

An inter-ministerial committee, headed by deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, has been holding meetings with interested parties since the Constitutional Court's judgment.

It is scheduled to hold its last meeting with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Friday, who have strongly contested e-tolling in Gauteng.

The trade union federation this week said it was shocked that government would jump the gun by making an announcement on the roll out of e-tolls on the same day its meeting was scheduled.

Now the deputy president's office said the announcement anticipated to happen this afternoon can only be made on Saturday.

It seems increasingly likely that the 'user-pays' model will be retained, but with lower tariff rates for motorists.

Revenue from the system will pay a R20 billion debt incurred by the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) in 2007, to build the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.