The South African Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) has finally admitted that due to non-compliance, the system of e-Tolling that it implemented in Gauteng has not successfully generated the revenue it needs to upgrade road networks, and in future, will have to look to alternative models of funding.
Since the inception of e-Tolls on Gauteng’s roads, the DA has strongly condemned the double taxation of motorists and the knock-on effect that this has had on the province’s economy.
A nominal, ring-fenced fuel levy should have been introduced to collect monies owed to pay back the bonds SANRAL raised to complete the first phase of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project. However, likely suspicious practises saw the introduction of a convoluted e-Toll collection system, which gave rise to astronomical collection fees to collect monies owed by motorists, all of which make their way offshore.
Instead of innovating and thinking out the box, SANRAL will waste more money – which could be pumped back into this project as well as future road projects, to seek legal action against motorists who refuse to pay for a system which they simply cannot afford.
SANRAL has based its legal argument on a default judgement where the defendant failed to appear in court to defend themselves. However, once legal proceedings get underway, it is highly likely that those who have been summoned by SANRAL will defend themselves in court and that these cases will be thrown out.
SANRAL should look to more long-term, sustainable solutions to fund roads that it intends to build as it is clearly evident that e-Tolls are not only unjust but unsustainable.
The DA will continue to fight against e-Tolls and support organisations like OUTA who have pledged to defend motorists in court.
Fred Nel MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport
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073 601 6144