e-tolls

COSATU Proposes Alternative Road Funding Methods

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) will present proposals on alternative methods to fund road improvements, at its next meeting with government’s inter-ministerial committee (IMC) appointed to deal with e-tolls.

COSATU spokesperson, Patrick Craven, points out that, “We want the meeting to look at proposals from the African National Congress-led task team, on alternate ways to fund road improvements."

Meanwhile, the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA), who brought the High Court application, held talks with the Inter-Ministerial Committee.

Court Ruling a Minor Setback - OUTA

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) says that this week’s Constitutional Court hearing is a minor set-back.

OUTA chairperson, Wayne Duvenage, points out that, "We were expecting that it might not go our way, it doesn't necessarily scupper our case at all in the review in November 2012.”

His comments come after the Constitutional Court overturned the High Court interdict which stalled the roll out of e-tolls in Gauteng.

COSATU Vows to Resist e-Tolling

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) says it will resist the introduction of Gauteng's e-tolling project with every power the trade union has.

COSATU general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, points out that, “In our view, it would be a huge mistake by government if it was to steam ahead on the basis of the Constitutional Court judgment and implement what we all know is an extremely unpopular policy decision."

ConCourt to Hear e-Toll Arguments

The Constitutional Court will hear arguments that seek to overturn a High Court decision which interrupted the implementation of the Gauteng e-toll project.

This after the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) was triumphant in their last minute attempt to stop e-tolling in April 2012, when the North Gauteng High Court granted them an interdict which ordered a full review of the project.

War Against e-Tolling Not Over

The public should not think that the fight against e-tolling is over as there is still a heated debate between the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) and an Inter- ministerial committee.

OUTA chairperson, Wayne Duvenhage, who comments following a review of 7 000 pages of documentation recently provided by the Transport Department and the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL), states that, “After ‘painstakingly’ sifting through those documents, we can safely say  we are confident that our case has more merit.”

SANRAL Not Opposing e-Toll Interdict

The South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) has opted not to oppose the interdict against the implementation of e-tolling.

Tolling on parts of Gauteng’s national highways was brought to a halt after the first phase of a court challenge that was brought by a group, including the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA).

OUTA chairperson, Wayne Duvenage, says that SANRAL was given 10 days to file an appeal against the ruling by Judge Bill Prinsloo that prevented tolling but failed to do so by the deadline on 15 May 2012.

E-toll Committee Set Up

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) both hope to work alongside a committee appointed by Cabinet to deal with Gauteng’s e-toll crisis.

COSATU spokesperson, Patrick Craven and OUTA chairperson, Wayne Duvenhage, both says the way forward would be to include all other role players.

OUTA to Launch a Fundraising Campaign

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) will launch a fundraising campaign to prepare for the e-tolling legal battle in the next few days.

OUTA chairperson, Wayne Duvenage, points out that, “Our coffers are rather empty, so we will be putting together a very focused fundraising campaign.”

However, Duvenage warns people seeking to support the fundraising to watch out for scams, and said there is ‘no SMS line’.

Govt Urged to Consider Other Options on e-Tolls

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) says there are four other ways the government could settle the R20 billion debt incurred by improving Gauteng's highways.

OUTA argues that if one of the options – fuel levy – is hiked by seven to eight cents, around R1.7 billion could be collected to pay for the infrastructure over 20 years.

However, South African National Roads Agency Limited head, Nazir Alli, and Transport Minister, S'bu Ndebele, have argued that it will be unfair for people in other parts of the country to pay for Gauteng's roads.

Last-Minute Bid to Stop e-Tolling

Civil society, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the Democratic Alliance are pulling out all the stops in last minute attempts to have the controversial e-tolling system scrapped.

On one hand, court applications have been filed by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) and Afrikaner lobby group AfriForum. On the other hand, the Democratic Alliance and the COSATU plan to protest in the streets.

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