The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) says there has been no real progress following a meeting with government to discuss Gauteng e-tolls.
The alliance and the inter-ministerial committee on e-tolls met in Pretoria yesterday for the first time since the Constitutional Court set aside an interim order preventing the system from being rolled out last week. The alliance wants the South African National Roads Agency Limited and National Treasury to find alternative ways of funding the upgrades to Gauteng highways.
Under the project, motorists are expected to fork out around 30 cents per kilometre to use a large stretch of the province's highways. A High Court review of the project is expected to start in November, but the alliance's Wayne Duvenage says it's important that a solution is found soon.
The outcome of the court review will be subject to a review process. Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos says: “In November when the case is actually heard, the substance and the merits of the case will be heard and that court can either decide to stop the e-tolling because it was unlawful or they can decide to endorse it in which case it can go ahead.”
It is expected that Gauteng road users should have further clarity on e-tolling by the end of next week as Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe is holding a final round of talks with stakeholders this week. Last week, the Constitutional Court overturned an interdict preventing government from going ahead with the system. Motlanthe's spokesperson Thabo Masebe admits that at some point there will have to be a decision with regard to the way forward.
Masebe says they expect that soon after the conclusion of the current round of talks, government will sit down and assess the facts and then make a decision with regard to the future of the e-toll system.