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OUTA urges ministerial eToll committee to consider independent inquiry

While welcoming the formation of a Ministerial Committee to deal with the GFIP eTolling crisis, OUTA chair Wayne Duvenage has called for the terms of reference to be widened to investigate the many unanswered questions with respect to SANRAL’s dealings in all contracts and concessions related to the GFIP construction and the tolling thereof.

We trust the Ministerial Committee will consult widely and seek input from OUTA and other organisations opposed to the eToll process, thereby ensuring that all matters are raised and investigated with absolute sincerity. Absolute sincerity without prejudice is however, best obtained through the appointment of a high powered independent investigation and inquiry, which the Minister would be wise to consider.
“The committee’s enquiry would also be wise to extend its investigation to include the Wild Coast Consortium, in light of social worker John Clarke’s recent revelations in the Sunday Times this week, concerning the behind the scenes deals with respect to the N2 Wild Coast Toll road a decade ago” says Duvenage.

“If people think OUTA’s high court challenge is simply about defending the commercial and institutional interests of our alliance members they are mistaken” Duvenage said. “It is about the values enshrined in the constitution of especially ‘democratic governance, social justice and fundamental human rights’ as the Preamble states.

Responding to the news that Minister of Transport Sbu Ndebele has opted not to defend the court application lodged by Wild Coast communities to have the environmental authorization of the N2 short cut set aside, Duvenage said this indicated that Minister Ndebele took his oath of office to uphold the constitution seriously and for this we applaud the Minister. It may just be that current developments and investigations into eTolling of GFIP could provide the Minister with sufficient reasons to halt to the legal defence of the Gauteng eToll matter.

OUTA is seriously concerned about the amount of tax payer’s money being wasted on SANRAL’s court battles, especially if they are used to fight against applicants and citizens who are unified across all sectors of society to oppose their plans. SANRAL has almost certainly succeeded in becoming the country’s most untrusted brand and a lot of excellent work will be required to restore the prior integrity that SANRAL enjoyed a decade ago.

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