Zuma signs e-tolls bill

At the same time, Sanral and Outa are continuing with their legal battle in the SCA.

Toll road gantry on one of Gauteng's highways. Picture: Sapa

BLOEMFONTEIN/JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday signed the e-tolls legislation into law.

According to the Presidency, he signed the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill on Wednesday afternoon.

In effect, this provides the green light for the collection of tolls in Gauteng.

Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said, "All the legislative requirements have been completed for e-tolling. The minister is now empowered to publish regulations, including the tariffs, and put it into the public arena for a minimum of two weeks."

At the same time, the Supreme Court of Appeal on Wednesday heard the cost of collecting e-toll tariffs is "reasonable" and that "extensive" public consultations took place.

The Bloemfontein court on Wednesday heard the controversial Gauteng e-tolling case.

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) is trying to stop the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) from implementing the multi-billion rand project.

The court interrogated both sides, raising questions about the consequences of scrapping e-tolling and the extent of public consultation.

It called on Outa to consider the practical and financial ramifications of tearing down the gantries and cancelling e-tolling.

Judge Fritz Brand also raised questions about whether Sanral was simply carrying out its obligations to implement a Cabinet decision and why Outa was not directing its challenge at government.

But Outa argued the entire process was plagued by unlawful decisions and a failure to consult with the public, saying the entire system should be stopped.

Outa's advocate Mike Maritz told the court the public was misled by Sanral about the extent of e-tolling.

"They failed to provide any information; they objectively misled the public."

Acting on behalf of Sanral, Advocate David Unterhalter argued all requirements were met.