DA to donate R1m to Outa

Outa made an urgent call for funding and the DA responded.

Freight transport will be given a discount on the e-toll system. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) announced on Friday it would donate a R1 million to the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) to boost its legal battle against e-tolling.

This week Outa made an urgent appeal for funds saying it received notice from its lawyers and may have to abandon its case against roads agency Sanral.

The organisation said it needed to find R1 million in three weeks.

The DA's Mmusi Maimane said, "We thought that the residents of Gauteng have spoken and Outa's been at the forefront of the fight against tolling and we thought that as a political party it's helpful and important for us to be able to contribute to this issue."

Outa's Wayne Duvenage said they are overwhelmed by the response from the public and now the DA.

He added that by last night they had raised R500,000.

"This has been the most incredible 24 hours in Outa's life. When we put that call out on Wednesday we were really in a predicament to raise a R1 million in three weeks and we were always behind in raising funds and we really wanted to take a strong winnable cause to court."

Meanwhile, Sanral claims Outa has been exposed as a front for the DA.

DIALOGUE ON E-TOLLS

Earlier on Friday Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe's office said just because e-tolling is launching soon doesn't mean dialogue about the project should grind to a halt.

Motlanthe is due to meet church leaders in Pretoria to discuss their public challenge against the multibillion system.

Motlanthe's spokesperson Thabo Masebe said churches were part of initial meetings chaired by the deputy president.

"We can't stop talking to people, it is important to talk to people because there might be misunderstandings on the basis of how we communicate."

The Supreme Court of Appeal is due to hear the next phase of Outa's legal challenge on 25 September.

Meanwhile, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the churches are some of the organisations who are opposed to the controversial system.

Last week, Cosatu led a drive-slow in Gauteng against e-tolling.

The trade union federation believes the system will have a negative impact on the working class.

E-tolling is due to be launched within weeks, regardless of the pending court case.