E-tolls will cripple legal system - Outa

Outa’s legal representative says on average, 250,000 motorists will fail to pay their fees each month.

A motorist uses the N12 highway, a proposed toll road in Johannesburg on Thursday, 15 November 2012. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA.

PRETORIA - The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) on Monday told the North Gauteng High Court that South Africa's legal system will not be able to cope with the number of motorists who will not pay for e-tolling.

The court is hearing a challenge against the controversial project in a case that will determine the system's fate.

Earlier, an application for the judge to recuse himself was narrowly avoided.

Outa's Advocate Mike Maritz accused the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) of keeping the public in the dark about e-tolls.

He said Sanral did this so citizens could not calculate the real costs of the project.

Maritz said on average, 250,000 motorists would fail to pay their fees each month.

This would cripple the legal system, which is already battling to cope with the cases it has, Maritz claims.

He said it does not take a clairvoyant to predict that the number of defaulters will sky rocket when people see others getting away with not paying.

Maritz also accused Sanral of muddying the real figures of collecting toll fees.

He believes the fees will exceed the cost of the entire project.

Government and Treasury are yet to respond to these allegations.