A file picture of Cavey Parker, 68, who stood on a bridge protesting against e-tolls earlier this year. Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi says the government has a massive e-toll debt because motorists refuse to pay. Picture: ANA Archives
JOHANNESBURG - Outa has  welcomed the acknowledgment by Gauteng Premier David Makhura in his State of the Province Address today that e-tolls have failed and have added to the cost of living for many motorists and public transport users. 

Outa said that they agree with the Premier and his call for a new and more equitable funding model to expand Gauteng’s road network, and welcomed his promise to engage President Cyril Ramaphosa to find “a new and more equitable funding model”.

"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."

Makhura said, “The new dawn must also bring a solution to the protracted and unresolved problem of e-tolls”. 

“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,” Rudie Heyneke, Outa’s Portfolio Manager for Transport, said.

“The collection costs and litigation costs are too high when measured against the revenue generated by e-tolls.”

"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," Outa said in a statement.

“We welcome the promises to tackle corruption and to work with civil society on this, however, the proof of the pudding is in the eating: actions speak louder than words,” Ben Theron, Outa’s COO, said. 

Outa has welcomed the acknowledgment by Gauteng Premier David Makhura in his State of the Province Address today that e-tolls have failed. File photo: Dumisani Sibeko / INLSA
Outa said that it is concerned at the hint that Gauteng may need a larger Legislature, as taxpayers are already overburdened. “We’d like to see the province following the suggestion from the President that the size – and thus the cost – of Government should be reduced,” says Theron.

“It is quality not quantity that will make a difference,” Theron added.

Outa is also concerned about the suggestion that only foreign-owned businesses need checking for regulation. 

“This is a dangerous suggestion in a province that has seen far too many xenophobic attacks, with foreign-owned businesses targeted by criminals who want an excuse for their looting,” says Theron.

“Regulation of businesses should apply to all. There’s no need to specify a particular group.”