The government's announcement of e-tolling rates yesterday is arrogant, with consultations amounting to rubber-stamping, the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) said.
"The government's arrogance over the e-tolling debacle continues to astound," Outa spokesperson Rob Handfield-Jones said in a statement.
The electronic tolling of Gauteng's freeways would cost motorists with e-tags 30c/km, down from the 40c/km decided on last year, SA National Roads Agency toll and traffic manager Alex van Niekerk told reporters in Pretoria.
Department of Transport director general George Mahlalela said all parties had been consulted, except for the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) and Outa.
Handfield-Jones criticised Mahlalela for being disingenuous and noted that Outa and Cosatu had been the most vocal critics of e-tolling.
"In other words, the government has consulted only those who support its case. There is a word for such behaviour: rubber-stamping," Handfield-Jones said.
Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage criticised the government for announcing that e-tolling would go ahead, with tariffs to be reviewed at the end of the month.
"In addition, despite the perception that government would like to create, today's gazetted tariffs are no different to those published, and subsequently withdrawn, earlier this year," Duvenhage said.
The e-tag tariff for motorcycles had been dropped from 24c/km to 18c/km, for medium heavy vehicles (Class B) from R1/km to 75c/km, and heavy vehicles (Class C) from R2/km to R1.50/km
Business Unity SA welcomed the 30-day consultative process that would follow the gazetting.
"It is important to use the time available to ensure that confidence is built in the final decisions before they are implemented."
Busa noted there would be further opportunities to consider the decision-making process during the high court review scheduled to start on November 26.
The e-tolling project's terms and conditions were gazetted yesterday.
"This marks the beginning of a 30-day period for public comment. Government will, at the end of the 30 days, having considered the views of the public, publish final tariffs," Transport Minister Ben Martins said.
After the public consultation, 14 days would be set aside for Martins to "apply his mind", and another 14 days for the gazetting of the final tariffs. This would mean e-tolls could come into effect four days before Christmas.
The e-tag tariff for motorcycles had been dropped from 24c/km to 18c/km, for medium heavy vehicles (Class B) from R1/km to 75c/km, and heavy vehicles (Class C) from R2/km to R1.50/km.