The government needs to cancel the toll collection contract with the Electronic Toll Collection Consortium, the Democratic Alliance said yesterday.
“This is the only way to escape the exorbitant and unworkable e-toll system that has caused so much protest in Gauteng,” said DA spokesman Jack Bloom.
He estimated that R11 billion would be spent on the contract over eight years and R6.6 billion would be saved if it was cancelled.
“Damages would have to be paid for capital already spent and for lost profits, but cancelling is still cheaper than continuing with this contract,” he said.
The implementation of e-tolling on Gauteng's highways was postponed for a month by the transport department and SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) on Thursday.
The announcement was made by transport director general George Mahlalela, just hours after the ANC and the Congress of SA Trade Unions said they would ask the government for a month-long delay.
E-tolling was to have been implemented on 185km of highway in Joburg and Pretoria area on Monday.
The postponement was welcomed by the African Christian Democratic Party yesterday.
“Clearly, good sense has prevailed in the face of mounting opposition in the form of court action, strikes and mass civil disobedience,” the party's transport spokesman Steve Swart said.
l Sanral and the Electronic Toll Collection Consortium are meanwhile investigting a claim that money has been deducted from the bank account of a Pretoria woman before the implementation of the e-tolling system.
According to a report in Beeld, Hannelie Kolbe bought her e-tag on April 12 in Lynnwood and a day later R2 460 was deducted from her bank account.
She said she had not even fitted the e-tag on her car when the transaction went through.
Salahdin Yacoubie from the Electronic Toll Collection Consortium reportedly said that the bank transaction could not be seen on the company’s system.
“We do not know what happened, but are currently trying to go through all queries and complaints that we received in April.”
Sanral was also trying to establish what happened. - Pretoria News Weekend