PRETORIA – The non-compliance of motorists in paying their e-tolls has resulted in the R22 billion originally invested in the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) ballooning to R40.5bn, because of interest on the debt.
Coenie Vermaak, the chief executive of Electronic Toll Collection, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Austrian-based Kapsch Group, confirmed this yesterday and stressed this additional money could have been used to build the second phase of the GFIP.
“In the end, taypayers will still pay for it. Even if we shut down the system, even if we starve it, we as citizens of South Africa will have to pay this debt,” he told a transport forum hosted by engineering group Aurecon.
Vermaak added that if motorists continued along this path “we will destroy ourselves” and the debt would continue to increase. “If you think about R40bn debt, it will make SAA look like a walk in the park if you have to bail out Sanral (SA National Roads Agency) this afternoon. The consequences for us are terrible,” he said.
Vermaak said they had done some studies, which revealed that road users were not only upset about e-tolls but also upset with the government.