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Outa to discuss next step on e-tolls

Outa has to decide whether it will fight a court order to pay all e-toll legal fees or not.

A devastated Wayne Duvenhage on 13 December 2012, after the North Gauteng High Court dismissed OUTA’s application to have e-tolling in Gauteng abandoned. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) on Monday was due to start a meeting with its lawyers in the afternoon to decide whether to continue its legal battle against e-tolling.

In December, the North Gauteng High Court ruled against the alliance and paved the way for the South African Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) to switch on its controversial tolling system.

An appeal would land up at the Constitutional Court which already ruled once that lower courts should avoid meddling in government policy.

The alliance has several important issues to consider before making a decision.

One matter is whether they have a case that is strong enough to present to the Constitutional Court.

Another is whether they have a mandate from their members to continue fighting a multi-million rand battle.

The Pretoria court slapped Outa with a crippling costs order which forces them to pay for the legal teams assembled by government and Sanral.

The alliance may choose to appeal against the court order alone.

It could argue it was representing civil society and should not be left to pick up the tab while government has more than enough money.

A final decision on the appeal is expected on Monday afternoon but there is a chance it could only be made on Tuesday.

The deadline for this process is Wednesday.