SUBJECT: RE: E-TOLLING INTERDICT
Good day SAVRALA Members, OUTA Team and Others
At the outset, I would like to thank the SAVRALA members who agreed to stand up, support and fund this legal challenge to effectively take SANRAL (and the government) to task on their decision to implement e-Tolling as a method of funding the GFIP. Simply put, e-Tolling is impractical and expensive and will be a waste of tax payer’s money if it is ever allowed to be introduced. We also realise that there were revenue opportunities for many within our industries on the back of e-tolling, but this would simply have been wrong, which makes SAVRALA’s stand an even more rewarding one.
I need to mention here that people like Marc Corcoran and Paul Pauwen were the real champions behind this case. They toiled long into the early hours of the mornings and over weekends to provide the legal team with much of the information and evidence required, which ultimately made our case as strong as it was. Then there was the legal team itself, of around 9 people in total, including two amazing senior councillors (Alfred Cockrel and Alistair Franklin) and a “mid” councillor Adrian d’Oliveira who was the “machine” and collated the information and guided the strategy, plus Pieter Conradie and his team from CDH. These are the people we all need to thank for their tireless effort and wisdom that ultimately made it happen.
Where to from here, depends on the action government want to take. If they want to take this to round two, we will have to go to court, not least of all because our grounds are now stronger than ever before, but because this has become a matter of such importance for the public and our democracy at large. I can’t begin to tell you how overwhelmed this team has been by the public and international interest in this case. Essentially it is one which sends a message of how societies can stop wrongful government policy, without having to take to the streets, but to do so, it relies on a sound judiciary that is able to stand up against political pressure and rule in favour of the citizens, when it needs to do so. We will however turn to the public and other businesses and associations to foot the rest of the bill going forward. We are however optimistic that the authorities may just use this opportunity to call it quits for e-tolling, and to seek the best solution for its citizens going forward.
In closing, thank you once again. You can be proud of the stance that your association took in this matter, a stance which I believe all business associations should be taking when government or business policy is out of line with the intended aims. Carbon taxation will be the next issue to challenge, along with AARTO and others, not because we don’t want these in place, but because we want them to be effective and meaningful toward the outcomes they seek.