Sanral CEO, Nazir Alli, says that it’s a myth that money collected from e-tolls will be going off-shore, and that as much as 83 cents per rand will be used to maintain roads and pay for local operations.
Speaking on Talk Radio 702, Alli once again pushed back against criticism of the highly controversial e-tolling system, which is set to launch on 3 December 2013.
“It’s unfortunate that we conflate things around us, and sometimes don’t look at the positive things as well,” Alli told 702’s John Robbie.
“I believe that the improvements to the highways and the benefits of improved infrastructure…outweighs the charges.”
When questioned about where the e-tolling money was going – in reference to claims that most of the money would go off-shore – Alli said that 83 cents of every rand collected would be used to maintain the roads as well as pay the 1,300 South African employees that are part of the system.
According to Alli, the Electronic Toll Collection company (ETC), would also gets paid for its services rendered, adding that local company, TMT, would be benifitting from such payments.
Who is really getting the money?
ETC is a consortium comprised of South African company TMT Services and Supplies (TMT) and Austrian traffic company, Kapsch.
TMT only owns 35% of ETC – while Kapsch TrafficCom AG owns 25% of ETC, with Kapsch TrafficCom AB of Sweden owning the final 40% stake.
Alli emphasised that TMT was running the show, however, having developed the software for toll collection, as well as handling the influx of local suppliers to the system.
“They’re a legitimate company – and they’re a local South African company,” Alli said.
However, TMT isn’t as South African as Alli would have the public believe.
According to TMT’s website, the company’s shareholding is actually also majority-owned by Kapsch – through its wholly-owned subsidiary, KTC SA Holding, which holds a 56.8% share of the group.
This means that ETC is in fact 85% owned by Kapsch, while 15% remains in the hands of TMT founders, Douglas Davey, Johan du Toit and Neil Louwrens, as well as 100% black-owned Matemeku Investments.
Alli further emphasised, however, that there were a lot of local suppliers providing services to ETC. “Those are South African companies as well,” Alli said. “We often forget all the spinoffs.”