The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) is encouraged by the public statement of Johannesburg Mayor, Parks Tau, at the Nedbank-New Partnership for Africa’s Development conference, wherein he expressed his opposition to the tolling of Johannesburg’s urban road infrastructure.
“We believe the Mayor’s position is one which supports the notion that social infrastructure ought not to subjected to a user pays system, lest of all, one which is as inefficient and costly as the e-toll system introduced by SANRAL,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s chairman.
We also remind Mayor Tau that he has the support of the committee appointed by the President in 2013, which was tasked to assess and report back on the mechanisms and effectiveness of State Owned Entities. As it turned out, they recommended that social infrastructure, including roads, should be funded more so through normal taxation and less so via a user pays mechanism.
Urban roads are those traversed by society in order to get to work, schools, places of worship and recreation, all of which should be funded from the public’s contribution toward national and local taxes.
“Mayor Parks Tau is justified in his opposition to have his city’s roads subjected to the cumbersome and virtually unworkable tolling process,” says Duvenage. “His opinions become more justified against the backdrop of an almost nonexistent public transport alternative.”