by Cllr Solly Msimanga – DA Gauteng Premier Candidate
The DA notes that the failing ANC, SACP and COSATU will be marching to the Union Buildings against e-tolls tomorrow.
This is ironic as they are marching against their own government that implemented e-tolls without consulting the people of Gauteng.
If the tripartite alliance is serious about scrapping the e-tolls in Gauteng then they should put pressure on their SACP Secretary-General and Transport Minister, Blade Nzimande, to end the e-toll contract, that is due to expire in December.
They should also put pressure on President Cyril Ramaphosa to ensure that this contract is ended immediately.
It is clear that e-tolls in Gauteng have not worked and needs to be scrapped. With the rising cost in food, petrol and the recent VAT increase the people of Gauteng can ill afford to pay for e-tolls.
The most concerning part about the e-toll contract is that the bulk of the money collected by Sanral goes straight to the collection agent, which is not even based in South Africa. It’s projected that only 7% goes to Sanral, while 93% goes to the Electronic Toll Collections Joint Venture Consortium with Kapsch TrafficCom.
The failing ANC-led national and Gauteng provincial government are not singing from the same hymn sheet. Last week, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni indicated that people must pay their e-tolls in order for the roads to be maintained whilst Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, a day later indicated that e-tolls have no future in Gauteng and that an alternative must be found.
This clearly indicates that e-tolls are once again being used as voting fodder ahead of 2019 General elections.
Gauteng’s e-tolls will struggle to fetch R900m this year, which is substantively lower than the R3 billion required per annum, to achieve their intended targets.
The fact that Sanral had to resort to taking legal action to collect a mere R10.231 million is a clear indication that Gauteng residents are unable to pay their e-toll accounts.
It is high time that e-tolls are scrapped. The failing ANC must stop playing politics with e-tolls and find an alternative solution to fund the Gauteng Roads now.
The DA is the only party that has been consistently calling for e-tolls to be scrapped and we will continue to put pressure on government to scrap e-tolls. We also call on all Gauteng residents to sign the DA online petition with regards to the scrapping of the e-tolls.
Sign the petition here: https://bit.ly/2Rbfal0