OUTA expresses its appreciation for being heard by the Gauteng E-Toll Advisory Panel today. We believe this panel is equipped with the sincerity, the desire and intellectual capacity to grasp the underlying points of our position on the e-toll matter.
We have published our submission to the panel on our web site at www.outa.co.za , which provides a comprehensive overview of why the e-tolling scheme was always doomed to fail. Sanral and the governing authorities neglected to heed the warnings and concerns raised by various sectors of society, and then proceeded to forge ahead with a system on the basis that ‘if the law was in place and the technology was sound, it ought to work’. “What they failed to take into account was, for a law and the scheme to be effective, it needs to be reasonable and have undergone the scrutiny of the people. Without ‘user say’, the ‘user pay’ principle is flawed and gives users strong grounds for defiance, which has now become evident is the e-toll debacle,” says John Clarke, OUTA’s Joint Spokesperson.
“We are not surprised that e-tolling has failed, as a result of Sanral’s inability to get the people to support the system, due to the irrationality, the lack of transparency and Sanral’s dismal public engagement program”, says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s Chairperson. “They have also attempted to introduce a scheme that is far too complex and filled with too many challenges to be efficiently applied into this environment”.
We state in our document that SANRAL’s scheme fails on almost all the factors it required for success. This academic backed research also shows where and why electronic tolling systems work, listing the aspects and reasons for their successes, virtually all of which were glaringly missing in Sanral’s e-toll scheme. We maintain that the e-toll declaration was made unlawfully and unless the system can be effectively enforced, the high levels of defiance can never be managed. This in turn undermines the legitimacy of the state. We have proposed a few alternatives, which have zero administrative costs and 100% compliance, something the e-toll scheme will never achieve.
“The authorities would be wise to halt this failed scheme sooner rather than later, lest we continue to waste society’s funds and prepare ourselves for more unintended consequences that may emanate, if they continue to force this unjust system into place”.