In response to today’s announcement by the Deputy President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, OUTA is disappointed to hear that government has decided to hold onto the e-toll scheme as the major funding mechanism to settle the GFIP Bonds.
While Government says they have lowered the tariffs, effectively they have not. They have merely removed the punitive tariff, which no-one was paying anyway and if the public were to pay in the past, they would have purchased an e-tag for the same rate of 30c per kilometer. The reduced cap from R450 to R225 per month only appeals to less that 10% of the motorists, as over 90% of users would not have exceeded that cap in the past anyway. Reducing the outstanding bills by 60% is a carrot the public will not fall for.
Unfortunately, the authorities have not addressed the following issues which make the scheme unjustifiable:-
While the government may think they have resolved their enforcement of the unjust system by linking the payment of e-tolls to the renewal of vehicle licenses, they have overlooked the many other unintended consequences that will arise out of this decision. We believe this action will spawn a whole new illegal license discs and number plate industry in South Africa. It will also force many road users to drive unlicensed vehicles. Cars will be licensed in other provinces and several other problems for the vehicle licensing authorities will arise out of this decision, not to mention the reduced license revenues for the region. There is also bound to be a legal challenge mounted against this decision.