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E-tolls: D-day for comment on tariffs

The Transport Dept. says thousands of people have submitted comments on e-tolling tariffs.

As Cosatu plans another drive-slow the Transport Department says many people have submitted commentary on e-tolling tariffs. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - As the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) prepares for another drive-slow demonstration against e-tolling, the Department of Transport says it has received thousands of comments from the public relating to the controversial system's tariffs.

Today marks the end of a month-long public consultation process ahead of the final tariffs being announced.

The process is the final administrative hurdle ahead of the launch of the multibillion rand project.

The department's Tiyani Rikhotso says, "So far we have received submissions in the thousands as has been the case in the past, where we've requested members of the public to take part. We thank them for using this opportunity."

At the same time, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has revealed it has launched a legal challenge to stop e-tolling, saying it believes the bill governing it was not properly processed in Parliament and is therefore illegal.

But while the latest legal challenge against e-tolling has been welcomed by some, the department says it has no plans to change course.

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa)'s Wayne Duvenage says the DA could have a strong case.

"The lawfulness issues have to be dealt with at some stage in court, so we're very pleased with what's happening."

But Rikhotso says e-tolling complies with all laws.

"There's been an attempt to try and isolate the project from the broader objective of ensuring that our country has the necessary road infrastructure to support our economic imperatives."

Government plans to launch e-tolling by the end of this year.

The drive-slow is expect to start this morning at around 9am and will affect the M1 North, N1 South and the N12 East.