e-Tolls Media Release

MANTASHE’s E-TOLL COMMENTS A FARCE

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) finds comments made yesterday about revisiting the e-toll decision by the ANC Secretary General, Mr Gwede Mantashe, as disingenuous and farcical.

Cars drive under a road toll in Johannesburg December 2, 2013. South Africa's government launched a widely unpopular road toll around the economic hub of Johannesburg on Tuesday, a move likely to heighten tensions with its union allies and alienate some voters in the run-up to next year's elections. The electronic levies, known as e-tolls, have fuelled public anger and strained relations between President Jacob Zuma's African National Congress (ANC) and COSATU, the labour federation that has supported the ruling party since the end of apartheid in 1994. Picture taken December 2, 2013. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS TRANSPORT) - RTX161UT

“This will not be the first time that the ANC will be revisiting and pontificating on the irrational e-Toll scheme, since the public uproar began in early 2010,” says OUTA’s Chairperson, Wayne Duvenage. “We met with Mr Mantashe and many other officials soon after OUTA interdicted the launch of the scheme in 2012, and pointed out numerous issues that would eventually bring the scheme to its knees.”

Now that the scheme’s compliance is less than 20% and virtually unenforceable, with debt mounting to over R8bn, it’s time to stop the rhetoric of revisiting and make the only decision possible – cancel the scheme.

“You can’t be half pregnant on the e-toll scheme, you either toll or you don’t,” says Duvenage. “Our research and paper presented to Premier David Makhura’s e-Toll Panel in 2014 (another talk shop), highlighted eight critical success factors for e-Tolls schemes to work. Sanral’s scheme failed to tick a single box, all of which has given rise to the schemes failure.”

Today, the bulk of the 20% road users paying are corporate fleets and rental companies, who have no appetite to cross swords with government and merely pass the costs on to their customers. If the corporate entities exercised moral courage as the general public have done, the few million Rand trickling to the companies connected to the e-Toll scheme would dry up, and the ANC led e-Toll decision would be easier to make.

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