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Johannesburg - What’s in the box? That’s what the DA will be working out now, after receiving 17 lever-arch files with thousands of pages of documents on the controversial Gauteng e-toll contracts.
But first the party has had a look at what’s apparently not in the box: three chunks of financial paperwork.
“The DA has received 17 lever-arch folders with tender documents (24 items), addendum (24 items), clarifications (eight items), contract documents (four items), and the Electronic Toll Collections (ETC) offer (two items),” said DA MP Ian Ollis on Sunday.
“On inspection of the documents, however, we have noted that three items from the 65-item contract tender register have been omitted - a financial memorandum of the tender documentation and two items of the ETC submission.
“The DA will request that Sanral provide the outstanding documents without delay,” Ollis said.
The documents are a copy of the contract between Sanral and the ETC joint venture which allows for e-tolling on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project freeways.
They were compiled and sent by Sanral’s deputy information officer, Haniel Motaung.
On Sunday, Motaung said he wasn’t aware of any documents missing.
“As far as I’m concerned we have sent a full set of documents to the DA.
“We’ll investigate if some sort of mishap happened with the documents.”
The note which Motaung sent with the documents indicated that the full contract was delivered.
“The records contain a full set of the contract documents, including tender and pre-qualification tender submissions,” he said.
Sanral handed over the contract documents to the DA after the party brought an application for this in June in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act.
“Sanral agreed to provide all 5 848 pages of the contractual agreements,” said Ollis.
He said the party would study the documents received so far while waiting for the rest.
“We will scrutinise the documents specifically for Sanral’s monthly financial obligation to the ETC, the structuring of the colletion fees, how they intend to prosecute e-toll transgressors, as well as an opt-out clause for e-tolling in Gauteng.”
The opt-out clause was crucial as that would indicate whether and how the contract might be cancelled, and the costs of doing that.
“The DA maintains that e-tolling in Gauteng must be scrapped. It will serve no benefit to the people of the province, and will hit the poorest the hardest by increasing the price of doing business, resulting in food price increases and inevitably undermining economic growth and job creation,” Ollis said.
No date has yet been set for the start of the e-tolls. The legislation needed to enable this has been passed by Parliament but not yet signed into law by President Jacob Zuma.
The cabinet approved the upgrade in January 2008 at a cost of R23 billion.
In May last year, Sanral chief executive Nazir Alli told the Constitutional Court that the total Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project cost over the 24 years of the loan would be R89.722bn.
The cost of the proposed tolls caused a huge outcry in Gauteng.
Sanral has been running the system for a year, testing it without charging motorists and calculating how much it will cost motorists.
Earlier this month, the agency said the tolls would not cost motorists “a fortune”, as about 83 percent of motorists “will only pay R100 a month” - this is for those on the cheapest rates who are using e-tags and with the payment accounts.
“Of the 2.5 million vehicles checked in this manner, only 4 700 will pay the capped R450 a month,” said Sanral.