R470-million set for E-toll account communication

R473.2-million will be spent only on communication with E-toll account holders and transgressors, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said in a statement issued today (26 August 2013).

This figure comes from an analysis of the contract between the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) and the Electronic Toll Collections (ETC) joint venture, the DA said.

The total cost of communications for the Transaction Clearance House (TCH), responsible for the hosting and accuracy of all e-toll accounts is R92.6 million, while the cost of communications for the Violations Processing Centre (VPC), facilitating and ensuring recovering of e-toll fees owed, is R380.6 million.

“The DA believes that the provisional costs of communication add to growing proof of how expensive it will be to operate e-tolls in Gauteng,” said Ian Ollis, DA shadow minister of transport.

Ollis said that the increased spending by the Violations Processing Centre forewarns of the struggle to track down transgressors and will result in both increased operating costs and less fees recovered.

“Increased costs in operating e-tolls and fewer fees recovered means less money is reinvested into Gauteng roads,” he said.

According to the DA, the TCH cost breakdown shows:

  • R20 million for SMS services;
  • R600 000 for emails;
  • R40 million for calls to cellular phones;
  • R25 million for calls to landlines;
  • R4 million for faxes; and
  • R3 million for letters.

While the VPC cost breakdown shows:

  • R80 million for SMS services;
  • R600 000 for emails;
  • R175 million for calls to cellular phones;
  • R100 million for calls to landlines;
  • R15 million for faxes; and
  • R10 million for letters.

The DA said that it has received the three documents originally omitted from the contract documentation it requested from Sanral.

This means that the DA is now in possession of the full contract, and it said that it is able to study it in its entirety and will continue to scrutinise the documents.

“We will continue to search for Sanral’s financial obligations to ETC, how transgressors will be prosecuted and what options are available to stop the e-tolls and will reveal our findings at a later stage during a Press Conference,” Ollis said.

“We are confident that our findings on the e-toll contract will show that e-tolling does not work,” he concluded.

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R470-million set for E-toll account communication