Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage welcomed the recent comments by Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi that they are relooking e-tolls as a funding model for roads.
Duvenage added that clarity is needed on Vadi’s statements which appears to have cast a shadow of confusion on the matter more than anything else.
Outa supports Vadi’s views that other funding models, like a regional fuel levy, a provincial tax or shadow tolling are more efficient ways to pay for road upgrades.
“The e-toll scheme comes at a huge administration cost – over R1.3bn per year – and will never achieve high compliance, as Sanral is now learning some six months after launching the scheme,” said Duvenage.
“The obvious question is, does Sanral concur with the messages from MEC Vadi? If so, does this mean there is a ‘half-pregnant’ approach to the ill-conceived e-toll plan,” asked Duvenage.
“If indeed the scheme is questionable and regarded as ineffective, then it goes without saying that the entire scheme should be set aside until a more efficient and equitable solution is found.”
“Every day the fiasco continues is a burden to society. We trust that Cosatu’s request this week for President Zuma to call off the e-toll scheme’s ‘privatization of our public highways’ in his State of the Nation Address, will be heeded accordingly.”
e-Tag numbers questions
Outa said that it has updated its e-tag count on vehicles last week and maintains less than 40% of vehicles are tagged.
This suggests that Sanral’s recent discount carrot has not produced the uptake they had hoped for, sending an even louder message that the public at large were not going to be duped or enticed into the irrational scheme.
“If one extrapolates the R550m outstanding e-toll debt amounted by 28 February 2014, we estimate this figure to have now climbed to approximately R1 billion,” said Outa.