Outa: Public rejects e-tolls

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SANRAL TOLL jan31 IOL pic INLSA File photo by Ihsaan Haffejee

 

Johannesburg - Public meetings on Gauteng's e-tolls indicated the public was against the system, the Opposition To Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) said on Thursday.

“Despite efforts by the department of transport to focus on discussing the proposed tariffs and exemptions at meetings, many expressed sheer anger at the lack of initial consultation,” the organisation said in a statement.

Last month, the government and the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) announced new tariffs for e-tolling the freeways.

The announcement, made on October 26, marked the beginning of a 30-day public consultation process, after which Transport Minister Ben Martins would have a fortnight to “apply his mind, followed by another fortnight to gazette the tariffs.

The government should initially have been more open and accommodating in seeking public and business opinion, Outa said.

“Government should not be surprised by the uproar and backlash they are receiving from the public, who find it illogical to discuss tariffs they do not have confidence or support for in the first place.”

There was a growing chorus and call by the public to simply not participate in e-tolls.

“We have been saying that the lack of public participation by the public in this irrational scheme will ultimately become Sanral's biggest hurdle and will make the system unworkable.” - Sapa



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