The Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) says that transport minister Dipuo Peters’s answers to parliament on Wednesday (5 March 2014) about e-toll registrations contradict Sanral’s numbers.
In her answer to the question asked by DA MP, Ian Ollis, as to how many registrations had taken place to 1 February 2014, she stated that the number was 912,048 registrations as at 31 January 2014.
49,987 of these e-toll registrations were for local, provincial and national government vehicles.
“It must also be borne in mind that a significant proportion of these registrations must apply to vehicles exempted from paying e-tolls,” the JPSA said.
The number which Peters provided is significantly less that Sanral’s claims of 1.2 million registered users on 28 February 2014.
“It is very difficult, if not impossible to believe that more than 287,952 new registrations would have taken place in the 28 days in February, especially in light of the fact that Sanral’s repeated claims that around 35,000 registrations take place a week,” said Howard Dembovsky, chairperson of JPSA.
“A figure of more than 10,000 registrations per day, every single day in the month of February, is simply too difficult to swallow, no matter how Sanral chooses to spin it,” he said.
Dembovsky added that the statement by Peters that between 23% and 28% of the daily users of Gauteng’s e-roads have e-tags indicates that 72% don’t. “This is most certainly not the impression that Sanral is portraying,” said Dembovsky.
“According to Sanral’s own ‘research’, around 2.5 million vehicles use the GFIP daily. This means that 1.8 million of them don’t have e-tags,” the JPSA said.
“Sanral has not hesitated to label research conducted by OUTA as ‘unscientific’, but now it emerges that in fact, OUTA’s research was anything but inaccurate.”
Dembovsky said that if Sanral is indeed getting paid “more than R300 million a month” on e-tolls, as was claimed by Nazir Alli on Friday 28 February 2014, from up to 28% of their registered users and some of the unregistered users who may have paid, then Cosatu’s view that the e-toll tariffs are way too high is true.
“The time for Sanral to stop overtly lying to the public has long since passed, as has the time for them to face reality and understand that no matter how many times a lie is repeated, it remains a lie,” said Dembovsky.