Following the decision taken by OUTA’s representatives on 7 January 2013, to proceed with an application to seek leave to appeal the high court judgement, OUTA’s application which contains the reasons and grounds for the appeal was lodged on Tuesday 8th January 2013. A copy of the application document is available on their web site at www.outa.co.za.
In short, OUTA has not taken this decision to appeal the judgement lightly. Its members firmly believe that that the grounds and merits of this appeal are very strong and that leaving the judgement unchallenged will set a significantly erroneous precedent which effectively allows the governing authorities to implement policies of significant impact on society, without the need to conduct meaningful public participation, as is required and enshrined in our constitution.
The constitutional interpretation of Section 27 of the SANRAL Act requires that SANRAL should have given adequate notice to the public of the proposed project and tolls and that meaningful public participation was required to be undertaken. Public participation requires that sufficient information about the project must be provided to the wider public, such that they are empowered with knowledge (the eToll declaration, the tariffs etc) and time so as to enable society to exert a possible effect on the outcome of the decision. In SANRAL’s case of eTolling public participation process, this was not possible, yet the court ruled that SANRAL’s "tick-box" opinion of their public engagement process was sufficient and adequate. In this regard, OUTA maintains that procedural and objective fairness has not been applied, making e-Tolling’s introduction unlawful.
The Judgement also erroneously relied on a minority judgement from the in the constitutional court ruling and thereby misrepresents and ignores crucial aspects of OUTA’s case in Part B of the application (the review). This misinterpretation of the constitutional court judgement thus had the effect of setting aside OUTA’s argument that the Minister of Transport’s decision was irrational because his approval was conducted without knowledge of eToll collection costs.
OUTA appeals to the public and business at large to support this extremely important cause and case by assisting with funding the legal costs thereof. This can be done directly on the OUTA web site at www.outa.co.za and all donations made remain are kept private and confidential. The site also contains all information required about OUTA and its reasons for the eToll matter to be challenged.
Enquiries: Wayne Duvenage