E-tolls collapsed a long time ago: Outa

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) on Monday said Sunday newspaper reports that the “e-Toll scheme was on the brink of collapse” vindicates its position that the “user-pays scheme was always questionable”.

A new “60% discounted dispensation‚ in attempt to hoodwink the public to come on board”‚ is also likely to fail‚ Outa said.

In a statement on Monday‚ Outa said the reasons it believed the scheme would collapse were threefold:

  • Its unenforceability due to its many inaccuracies and erroneous data feed from the national e-Natis vehicle license system;
  • The scheme was originally planned to rely on enforcement through the introduction of AARTO‚ which …is eight years behind its original launch date of 2007; and
  • Without the willing public compliance at over 80%‚ schemes of this nature around the world have generally collapsed or never even launched.

The SA National Roads Agency (Sanral)‚ Outa said‚ has “never been able to muster even half the public to come on board‚ their maximum compliance achieved being around 45% by mid-2014‚ and that has now reduced to around 25%”.

Reports at the weekend suggested that Sanral CEO Nazir Alli was being made a scapegoat for the failure of the scheme‚ but Outa chairman Wayne Duvenage said government couldn’t shirk the blame.

“While (Alli) may indeed have been the architect and driver of the scheme‚ Outa believes it was the minister of transport in 2008‚ Jeff Radebe‚ who signed the scheme into existence‚ but did so without thorough independent questioning and verification of the research and numbers put forward by Sanral at the time‚” said Duvenage.

“Our government’s ministers and director-general are far too hasty in their acceptance of major capital expenditure projects‚ and do not go to the required lengths to double check the claims‚ data and research presented to them.

“This is why we sit with the many costly capital expenditure debacles in Eskom‚ Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa‚ South African Airways and other inefficient state-owned entities of today‚ with Sanral‚ a once-respected organisation‚ now joining their ranks.”

Outa said Sanral “is about to announce a final push with the introduction of their 60% discounted dispensation‚ in attempt to hoodwink the public to come on board”.

This‚ Duvenage predicted is “is a desperate folly that will not achieve the success levels required”.

“At best they may get compliance back to June 2014 levels‚ but this will still be a significant failure and almost R2-billlion per annum shortfall of their required numbers to settle the bonds.”

More on e-tolls

E-tolls on the verge of collapsing: report

ANC Youth League wants e-tolls scrapped

Outa urges public to comment on e-tolls

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E-tolls collapsed a long time ago: Outa