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Peters: Govt needs e-tolls money

The transport minister says government needs to accelerate investment in infrastructure.

FILE: Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenhage. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Transport Minister Dipuo Peters on Thursday said she has issued a 30-day notice for public consultations to take place about e-toll tariffs.

She said motorists using upgraded highways in Gauteng should pay up and that government has no choice but to toll roads to raise funds for infrastructure.

"Government needs to accelerate investment in infrastructure development to support economic growth and job creation."

The minister said government is cash-strapped and e-tolling is the only sustainable option to generate income.

Peters will announce the exact date for the launch in the third week of November.

She called on all motorists to buy e-tags.

"If you are not tagged, you will be penalised and have to pay more," she said, adding, "If you are tagged, that is the first line of discount. How are we supposed to give you a discount when we don't know who you are?"

OUTA BITTERLY DISAPPOINTED

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) has accused the country's second-highest court of closing its eyes to the merits of its case.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Wednesday dismissed the alliance's bid to halt the controversial multi-billion rand project.

The Bloemfontein court found the legal challenge came far too late.

Outa says it will decide on Monday whether to appeal the latest judgment, saying it believes it has found grounds to challenge the matter.

Alliance chairperson Wayne Duvenage said they are bitterly disappointed with the SCA's ruling.

"Outa has looked to the courts to protect their members and road users from the unlawful actions of Sanral and the government. The courts have thus far failed us.

"Given the growing negative sentiment by society towards the e-toll process, the system will become fundamentally unsustainable."

Duvenage adds the country is witnessing a "full-scale tax revolt".

While Sanral said people can't pick and choose which laws to obey, Outa said that with enough passive resistance, the entire system will collapse.

Outa said the agency's insistence on implementing e-tolling against the will of the people will prove to be its "Achilles' heel".