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E-tolling parked off until Feb

Parliament has delayed the implementation of e-tolling until February 2013.

A limousine drives past a toll gantry along the N12 highway in Johannesburg. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA.

JOHANNESBURG - The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) has welcomed a delay in the implementation of e-tolling which will see the gantries stay off-line until at least February.

A bill regulating government's ability to charge motorists for using the tolls was withdrawn from parliament on Thursday, and will now be debated next year.

A court case over the future of the controversial project is due to begin in Pretoria on Monday.

The transport department said they already have the regulation they need to launch, but are choosing to respect the parliamentary process.

Transport Minister Ben Martins said the bill will be debated.

"The bill has not been withdrawn. Parliament has rules and regulations, and we gladly abide by to them."

Outa's Wayne Duvenage said this is good news.

"It was being rushed through, they needed more time for it to be considered by various role players. We believe it was right not to go down that road. This gives us more breathing time."

The Demcratic Alliance's Ian Ollis added his voice by saying this was a victory for motorists ahead of the festive season.

"This is the empowering legislation which allows the minister to switch on the e-toll and we've effectively put it aside until February."