Govt must cut their losses and scrap e-tolls - Manny de Freitas

Motorists will rather drive with expired vehicle licenses than pay for this unjust system, says DA

10% compliance rate should see e-tolls scrapped

26 January 2016

Today, in a presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Transport, OUTA (Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance) confirmed what the DA have long held: That e-tolls should be scrapped with immediate effect. Compliance rates, according to OUTA Chairman, Wayne Duvenage, peaked at 40% and are now estimated at a meagre 10%.

As it stands the collection of e-tolls is administratively burdensome and expensive as opposed to e-toll payments funded through the fuel levy which is easy and costs nothing to collect.

Not only is the collection of e-tolls expensive but the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) are failing to collect even a third of the money they had projected, meaning they are incurring massive losses.

Moreover, very little, if anything, is being invested into alternatives to e-tolling, such as improving and broadening the public transport network or moving more freight onto rail, which would benefit more people commuting in Gauteng.

While the DA does not negate the benefits of e-toll technologies, this project has been plagued with problems since its inception, from poor public participation to SANRAL missing 3 of its own launch dates they themselves had set.

All these issues combined with continued arrogance of SANRAL against the public is a recipe that ensures minimal compliance and support for this system.

The opposition to e-Tolling is no longer about our roads but about our democracy and how the public is treated and consulted by its government.

The DA believes that the public will continue to oppose e-tolling, even if legislation is introduced forcing drivers to pay their e-toll bills, as motorists will rather drive with expired vehicle licenses than pay for this unjust system.

The government must face reality, cut their losses and scrap e-tolls once and for all.

Issued by Manny de Freitas, DA Shadow Minister of Transport, 26 January 2016