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Lines drawn for e-toll battle

Outa says it hopes the appeal it launched in the e-tolling battle would be heard within a few weeks.

North Gauteng High Court judge Louis Vorster. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) said it hoped the appeal it launched in the e-toll battle would be heard within a few weeks.

The alliance decided to continue its battle against government and the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), and filed its legal papers at the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday.

In December, the court dismissed an application by Outa to have the multibillion rand project halted+

Judge Louis Vorster also slapped Outa with a crippling legal costs order.

Outa's lawyer, Pieter Conradie, said they believed they had a strong case and would convince Judge Vorster that a higher court may reach a different verdict and rule in their favour.

Conradie explained their argument was that Judge Vorster disregarded the constitutional rights of South Africans and misinterpreted previous judgments.

"We say that the interpretation of Section 27 of the Sanral Act by the judge means that public participation in future will be meaningless and that government can actually make any irrational decision and the public cannot attack those decisions."

E-tolling is being held up by a bill in parliament, but can go ahead while this legal process runs its course.

It is likely the Constitutional Court will settle this matter.

Revenue collected from e-tolls will pay off a multibillion rand debt incurred by Sanral for the construction of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP).