In response to reports that staff employed at the Sanral e-tolling operations centre in Midrand were evacuated today due to an anthrax scare, the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance urges the public not to over-react.
“We trust that no one was endangered and hope that this incident was a false alarm”, said OUTA spokesperson John Clarke. “Whether the incident proves to indeed be so, or whether it was an actual malignant effort of sabotage, the end never justifies the means, and we condemn such acts of stupidity.”
“Ironically while the e-toll operations centre at Midrand was being evacuated I happened to be in a meeting with staff from the Office of the Public Protector in Tshwane” said Clarke. “We were busy discussing how to handle the 900 plus complaints over Sanral’s chaotic billing and collections process that OUTA has received from members of the public. We have institutions like the Public Protector, the Human Rights Commission and the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs to investigate maladministration and violations of good governance. Let’s use them.”
Clarke says that the underlying lesson to be learned from the incident it is that the best defence against sabotage is for Government agencies to ensure they carry widespread public confidence and support before embarking on high risk innovations like e-tolling. “That is why public participation processes are vital for success in any large complex innovation that on relies on popular participation to make it work.”