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Catholic Church joins e-toll fight

The Church has slammed the entire e-toll process by saying there was lack of transparency.

Gauteng motorists will be tolled electronically once the e-toll system comes into effect

JOHANNESBURG - The Catholic Church said on Monday people should not buy etags or collaborate with the e-tolling of Gauteng's highways.

The Church had slammed the tolling project saying it is simply unacceptable to toll an existing stretch of road without providing alternative routes.

The Catholic Church has for the first time come out against the planned tolling of Gauteng highways.

The Church slammed the tolling plans saying there was lack of transparency when people asked why the roads were costing so much.

Toll road operator South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) said, the Church had a chance to raise its objections to tolling and should not be calling for anarchy.

Sanral's Vusi Mona said, "If we are serious about being a democracy we should utilise the opportunities we are given."

Anti-tolling group Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance's Wayne Duvenage said this was a key intervention.

"For the first time one church body said it is too easy to sit back."

The Church added that it was worried of the effect of e-tolling on the poor.

Sanral said it was ready to roll out the e-tolls by July.

If the system is passed, Gauteng motorists will pay at least 30 cents per km to use a large stretch of upgraded highways.

Cosatu said it would continue to voice its disapproval of the project, with more protests planned.

CAPE TOLL BATTLE

The City of Cape Town last Friday presented a case against Sanral to stop tolling in the Western Cape.

The City filed an urgent interdict against Sanral to prevent it from implementing the proposed N1 and N2 Winelands tolling project.

The matter was heard in the Western Cape High Court over two days and concluded on Friday.

Head of the City's Transport Portfolio Brett Herron said judgment was expected to be handed down next week.

Herron believed they presented a confident case.

"I think our case is compelling and the matter is now in the hands of the judge."