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Outa ready for e-toll appeal

Outa says it is ready to take on officials over the controversial Gauteng e-tolling system.

Outa’s Wayne Duvenage. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) on Friday said justice has been served and that it is ready to take its legal battle against e-tolling to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

On Friday, the North Gauteng High Court granted the alliance leave to appeal its earlier judgment, which went in favour of government and the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral).

Outa argues the Pretoria court misinterpreted a Constitutional Court judgment and that the method used to implement e-tolling was unfair.

Government claims the public failed to object at the right time and courts have no place to interfere in massive policy decisions.

Outa's Wayne Duvenage said, "I think justice prevailed. This matter needs to be heard at the highest level now, it is serious. We believe our grounds are still very strong."

E-tolling is being held up by a bill before Parliament, but can launch before this legal fight is resolved.

Meanwhile, the Department of Transport says it expects the SCA to vindicate it in the end.

Department spokesperson Tiyani Rikhotso says the celebrations may be premature.

"We are quite confident that going forward, the courts are going to rule in our favour because indeed, we have stated our case and clarified whatever misconception that may have existed around the introduction of e-tolling."

The legal battle is expected to end up in the Constitutional Court.

Going forward, the case will revolve around whether the public was properly consulted and whether the implementation of the tolls was procedurally fair.

Under the controversial project, Gauteng road users will be expected to pay to use a large stretch of the province's highways.