Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has announced that e-tolls will commence on 3 December 2013 on Gauteng’s highways.
In September, President Jacob Zuma signed into law the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill, giving Sanral the nod to start e-tolling on Gauteng’s freeways.
DA Premier Candidate for Gauteng, Mmusi Maimane, on Tuesday (19 November) outlined his plan to fight e-tolling in Gauteng as part of an election campaign ahead of the 2014 elections.
“We will continue to fight against this system at every turn,” Maimane said.
Last week, the DA submitted papers to the High Court. The party is of the view that the “e-tolling” Bill was incorrectly passed by Parliament and signed into law by President Jacob Zuma. The party believes that it was incorrectly tagged and should be declared unconstitutional.
The SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) has in excess of 1.4 million unsold e-tags, according to Transport Minister Peters.
“Sanral procured 2,107,000 e-tags over the past three years; [a total of] 1,427,900 have not been allocated,” she said in a written reply to a parliamentary question.
The figures imply 679,100 e-tags have been sold, though Wayne Duvenage, head of Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance – who has long fought against the tolling system – believes even that figure is questionable.
“Sanral have misled the public on e-tag sales in the past,” Duvenage said. “Clearly the low uptake is a message from society and the system will fail unless they achieve sufficient e-tags use and buy in from the people.”
“We are aware that once they announce e-tolls commencement, there will be a number of people going out to buy tags, but we believe this will not be enough and the system will fail – it’s just a matter of time,” Duveange said.