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Outa wants 'fresh eyes' on e-tolls

The organisation hopes Dipuo Peters will bring a new perspective to the e-tolling issue.

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance's (Outa) Wayne Duvenage hopes newly appointed Transport Minister Dipuo Peters will relook at government's stance on e-tolling. Picture:EWN

JOHANNESBURG- The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance's (Outa) Wayne Duvenage says he hopes the appointment of a new Transport Minister will bring a new perspective on e-tolls.

Former Energy Minister Dipuo Peters was appointed as Transport Minister as part of President Jacob Zuma's Cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday.

She replaced Ben Martins who only spend around a year in that portfolio.

Martins will take over her old position as Minister of Energy.

Peters inherits the highly contested battle over the multimillion Rand e-toll system.

Outa is challenging government's implementation of the system on the basis that it is irrational, unreasonable and illegal.

While Duvenage says he hopes Peters comes in with fresh eyes on the matter, she says she's not about to rush into anything and will receive a full handover before making any decisions.

"I don't think it would be proper for me to make decisions in the first minute. I need to get the report and engage with the team and will then be able to move forward."

THE 'EVILS' OF E-TOLLING

Last week, Duvenage urged motorists to not be fooled by any further drops in e-toll tariffs.

Duvenage says the fees will rise over time.

"The evils and costs of e-tolling don't go away by lowering fees. In fact it makes matters worse."

There are reports that the Department of Transport is considering "sweetening the deal" by making the controversial e-toll system cheaper before switching it on.

Despite an ongoing court battle between Outa and the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) over the multibillion Rand project, Parliament is in the process of clearing the final hurdles ahead of the launch.

While Cabinet has urged the Gauteng government and municipalities to buy e-tags for all state vehicles, Sanral hasn't yet committed to a launch date.