The Freedom Front Plus has made a last minute attempt to try and stop the implementation of e-tolling.
“The FF Plus’s court application for an interdict against the switching on of the e-toll system will be heard on December 2 in the High Court in Pretoria, a day before the system is to be switched on,” spokesman Anton Alberts said in a statement on Tuesday (26 November).
Alberts was confident of victory, saying the state had made critical technical errors with the announcement of the implementation date of e-tolls.
“In terms of the Sanral Act, there has to be a 14-day difference between the date on which the commencement of the e-toll is announced, and the date on which the actual implementation of the system will take effect.”
In effect, he said the system was only meant to start operating on December 4, and not December 3.
“The FF Plus, its partners and its legal team are all convinced that the interdict will be granted and that we will achieve a victory for all road users who are of the opinion that the e-toll is an unfair and unnecessary form of tax,” said Alberts.
Meanwhile, the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) said on Tuesday that the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) is continuing to mislead the public about e-tags and e-tolling.
The figure Sanral had provided on the number of e-tags which had been sold was a ploy to create the impression that people were flocking to purchase them, said Outa chairman Wayne Duvenage.
“Sanral have yet to confirm how many actual individual road users have purchased an e-tag, which we suspect is a much smaller proportion of total e-tag sales,” he said in a statement.
He said the figure provided by Sanral that 700,000 e-tags were sold, included large fleet operators, banks, car rental companies, government fleets, and leasing companies.
“We simply don’t believe their rhetoric in this space,” he said.
On Tuesday morning, Sapa made enquiries about the number of e-tags sold to individuals, the number sold to government departments, and the number sold to companies. By 4pm, Sanral had not responded.
Duvenage said the information given by Sanral was incorrect as its website calculator gave different figures.
“They have misled the public before and we are convinced they are doing this again to create false impressions of acceptance of their system. The simple truth is the public are not taking this lying down.”
Outa has said it will soon release details of its strategy on empowering society, including providing motorists with knowledge about their rights, and legal advice.
Duvenage said Outa would provide legal counsel and a legal team to the first person summonsed for non-payment of e-toll bills.
“This first case will be the test case…,” he said.
“Until then, Outa urges the public to exercise civil courage and know that it is not only their right, but their duty to resist and reject a law which has been implemented in a manner that works against the best interests of the people.”