The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance today released a long awaited 15,000 word research report titled “E-Tolling at an Impasse: Transcending the Mess in Gauteng”, to bring to light the fatal flaws, inconsistencies, absurdities and blatant lack of integrity in the e-tolling decision.
“Even though it is hard hitting, we have tried to be intellectually honest to generate light rather than stoke more heat” says John Clarke OUTA spokesperson. “It rigorously interrogates the Gauteng Open Road Tolling (GORT) rationale in the light of international case studies and benchmarks for success”.
The report has already been sent to Minister Dipuo Peters and Ms Ruth Bhengu MP, Chair of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport urging them to now respond with political courage to honour the civil courage shown by some 70% of Gauteng motorist who have refused to buy e-tags because of the lack of transparency over the e-tolling decision.
Wayne Duvenage, OUTA chair who co-authored the report with consultant John Clarke says the e-toll saga has the potential to become a far greater scandal than anything else currently burdening the present administration. “We have written it to educate ordinary members of the public, not only academics, journalists and government officials, on a number of pertinent insights and issues related to the e-tolling debacle. This is not a manicured propaganda exercise. It is a serious effort to transcend the mess and find a way out what we believe is deep impasse that Sanral executives have led us into.”
The report was inspired by a preliminary study by University of Pretoria academics Ms E. Hommes and Dr M.Holmner – titled ‘Intelligent Transport Systems: privacy, security and societal considerations within the Gauteng case study’.
“OUTA’s own research has added other examples of failed or failing ITS systems and we concur with the views expressed by Hommes and Holmner. We went further to understand the necessary and sufficient conditions for complex systems such as this to be viable. Next we conducted research to establish a valid statistical measure of the actual e-tag registrations. Not only has this proved Sanral to be engaged in a massive exercise of self-deception, but it helped us understand why people are so outraged” says Duvenage. “However we go beyond cursing the darkness to light some candle’s to throw some light on a way out of the impasse. ” says Duvenage.