The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has welcomed the acknowledgment by Gauteng Premier David Makhura in his State of the Province address that e-tolls have failed and have added to the cost of living for many motorists and public transport users.
In a statement issued by OUTA, the organisation agrees with the Premier and with his call for a new and more equitable funding model to expand Gauteng’s road network, and welcomes his promise to engage President Cyril Ramaphosa to find “a new and more equitable funding model”.
OUTA says the compliance rate for e-tolls users – based on SANRAL’s own version in its 2017 Annual Report – is 29%, “so it is clear that this system has failed.” SANRAL could not, in more than four years ensure a higher compliance rate. As Premier Makhura said: ‘The new dawn must also bring a solution to the protracted and unresolved problem of e-tolls.’ OUTA says it will support all initiatives to get this scheme halted.
“OUTA is preparing a submission for the Minister of Transport and the President and will engage with the executive to show the negative impact e-tolls have had on the public and on the SANRAL budget and to propose alternative funding models,” says Rudie Heyneke, OUTA’s Portfolio Manager for Transport. “The collection costs and litigation costs are too high when measured against the revenue generated by e-tolls.”
The statement goes on to say that SANRAL will never be able to catch up on collecting outstanding e-toll fees and, with compliance of only 29%, SANRAL is losing millions of Rand every day.
“Gauteng motorists showed the Government that they are not willing to fund a scheme that was doomed from the start and that was introduced without sufficient public participation,” says OUTA.