The people stood their ground on E-tolling
Waiting on government to say yea or nay
SA – The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) reacted with cautious optimism to the announcement by Gauteng Transport member of executive council (MEC), Jacob Mamabolo, that e-tolls were scrapped.
Mamabolo made the announcement during an interview with Stephen Groottes on SAFM. The MEC said: “They’ve been scrapped. The people of Gauteng should not be burdened for paying for national roads that serves all of us, that serves neighbouring states, that serves the whole economy of our country... That is unfair to leave it to the people of Gauteng.”
Barely an hour later, Mamabolo backtracked on Twitter, saying: “We reaffirm that the announcement on scrapping of e-tolls (sic) is imminent and must be made soon. The tweet by @SaFmRadio distorts that conversation.”
Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s chief executive officer, welcomed the initial statement by the MEC, but said the organisation awaits confirmation via the right channels before celebrating the news. “If true, it would mean a massive win for OUTA and all Gauteng motorists who defied the system. However, this is a matter that will need to be confirmed by either cabinet or the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula. If indeed this decision has been made, MEC Mamabolo may have let the cat out the bag and stole Minister Mbalula’s thunder. Hence the retraction on social media.”
OUTA says SANRAL will also have to withdraw all legal cases on e-tolls. “At this stage we have more questions than answer on this morning’s announcement, but we are treating this breaking news as being early signs of an imminent announcement on the future of an irrational scheme that was forced onto Gauteng motorists.”
OUTA press release extracts, 27 May 2021
The costs involved...
It is estimated that the electronic tolling processes by SANRAL cost R1,7 billion per annum (based on the tender awarded by SANRAL to ETC for this work, at R8,4bn for the first five-year period, excluding set up costs) just to operate and administer.
The road construction capital costs of R18bn (i.e excluding other costs related to e-Tolls), if paid over 20 years with interest, amounts to approximately R1,67bn per annum (or R40,7bn over 20 years), including maintenance.
E-Tolling in Gauteng was planned to raise over R95bn…
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