SANRAL statements and statistics remain unreliable
OUTA has often reported material inaccuracies purported by various spokespersons from SANRAL, including their CEO, Mr Nazir Allie who has now found his voice which appeared lost for such a long time. Regrettably, his utterances continue to be as selectively inaccurate and dismissive and we wish to again highlight several more recent examples;
- By SANRAL’s own admission, the GFIP network identified some 2,3 million monthly e-road users, of which 1 million were deemed to be ‘regular users’. At the last reported count yesterday, the SANRAL CEO boasted to having had some 800,000 registered users and inferred that they had an almost 80% compliance. We wish to highlight that this percentage must be applied to the 2,3 million identified GFIP road users which would yield a compliance rate of just under 35%. Further, SANRAL have not demonstrated any statistical information to support an assumption that all 800,000 registered users are all ‘regular users’. It’s as equally likely that the 800,000 may be largely made up of infrequent road users.
- It is also remarkable that, given the voluminous repetition in advertising and SANRAL statements, that so few will ever reach the R450, why then did they not introduce a much lower cap of say R200? The fact is that the GFIP e-toll finance model remains a deep secret within the SANRAL vaults without any independent and/or public review. As be SANRAL’s modus operandi over the years, after witnessing blackened out contract pages handed to COSATU, OUTA having to have signed a confidentiality agreement before reviewing the contract, an action only trumped by the SANRAL CEO himself, under oath, having changed his e-tolls cost and revenue calculations by billions during legal proceedings, the general public is well to question the validity and integrity of such statistics released by SANRAL.
- We have also noted the increasing enforcement crescendo, albeit intimidation, from the SANRAL CEO despite the ongoing public exchanges between SANRAL and the Justice Project of South Africa seeking clarity on the enforcement process for the non-payment of e-tolls. One would have thought that given the length of preparation afforded to SANRAL to prepare their respective enforcement legislation, at least since they were first interdicted in April 2012, they would by today have produced a simple step by step guideline illustrating the enforcement process when one or multiple e-toll payments are not made. Given their apparent vagueness and unwillingness to be clear, one can only assume that the enforcement legislation is far from resolved and is not ready. For example, SANRAL, in the JPSA exchanges stubbornly refuses to clarify whether the non-payment of an e-toll within the AARTO jurisdictions of Tshwane and Johannesburg is a traffic infringement or a criminal offence? Should it not be explained by SANRAL how civil action, and the use of debt collectors, can be instituted against a road user who has neither registered an e-tag nor their details with SANRAL. OUTA speculates that SANRAL desperately needs people to register for e-tags so that the unsuspectingly law abiding road users will in fact be the ones tracked down by the debt collectors for unpaid e-tolls. Mr Allie, it is well known that the non-payment of an e-toll is an offence but which offence is it, in which jurisdiction?
OUTA has often cited the discredited and fabricated GFIP benefits, the unacceptable collection costs which run in excess of 35% and the failed ‘user pay’ funding methodology but we are comforted by the resounding rejection of the e-toll fiasco to date by 1,5 million Gauteng road users who have exercised their rights, refused to get an e-tag and who are in the company of various church groups, unions and multiple civil society organisations.
OUTA remains confident that SANRAL’s deep lack of trust, and of their statistics, by most road users will continue, that their current misplaced confidence will wane, if Gauteng road users continue to say NO to e-toll.