Sanral says it respects e-toll judgement
The SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) is still studying a ruling by the High Court in Pretoria which brought the Gauteng e-tolling project to a halt, it said on Wednesday.
"Sanral, together with the department of transport, has noted the judgment handed down by the North Gauteng [High] Court," Sanral said in a statement.
"We respect the judgment and will study the ruling and consider the next steps in consultation with our principals."
On Saturday, Judge Bill Prinsloo granted an urgent interdict, brought by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa), to stop the e-tolling system so that a full court review could be carried out to determine whether it should be scrapped.
"I make the following order... the first respondent [Sanral] is interdicted and restrained from levying and collecting tolls," he said.
Prinsloo said while he realised Sanral would suffer huge financial losses, the public would also suffer hardship if the controversial project went ahead.
E-tolling was to have started on Monday on 185km of highway in Johannesburg and Tshwane.
Sanral said it was an agency of the transport department and as such its mandate was to implement policy. It therefore took its lead from the department.
"The agency is not able to comment any further at this point. We therefore ask that you contact the department of transport if you have any further questions."
Department spokesman Tiyani Rikhotso said he could not comment.
"Unfortunately I can't comment on that, pending our decision on the next course of action regarding the court ruling."
He referred to a statement sent on Saturday in which the department acknowledged the judgment.
"We respect the decision and we are currently studying the ruling in order to decide on our next course of action," Rikhotso said.
On Wednesday, transport companies which would have been affected by the implementation of the e-tolls expressed relief.
Bras Trucking spokesman Gerhard Burger said the company was quite happy about the judgment.
"I think it was the best news for everyone. All the extra costs would have been passed on to the customer."
Bras Trucking is a Pretoria-based transport company with 60 trucks, and transports mainly tiles.
Burger said it had not bought e-tags and would hold off a while longer before doing so.
Another transport company, Cargo Africa, was equally relieved about the halt on the e-toll introduction.
Spokeswoman Christelle Schwab said it had already bought e-tags for its 80 trucks and bakkies, but had struggled to upload all the tags onto the system.
"[If the e-toll system was activated] it would have been chaos," she said.