E-toll revenue collection has dropped below amounts recorded when the controversial system first launched, according to a Moneyweb report.
New financial data from Sanral shows that e-toll revenue collection has been in steady decline from the high of R120 million recorded in June 2014, with the only lift in earnings in the past 8 months happening in December 2014 where the agency brought in R72 million.
E-toll collections have consistently missed projected targets, with revenue in January and February 2015 missing the mark by over 77% and 70%, respectively, with January’s collection hitting the lowest amount since the system’s launch, at R45 million.
The trend also paints a dismal picture for Sanral’s projected R1.6 billion e-toll revenue for the months March to September 2015.
E-toll revenue vs projected revenue
|Month||E-toll revenue||Projected revenue||% of targeted revenue|
E-tolling was implemented on Gauteng highways in December 2013, following several court challenges to halt the project.
According to Sanral CFO Inge Mulder, quoted by Moneyweb, less than half of the 2.5 million road users in the greater Johannesburg area are registered for e-tolls, and the agency’s revenue figures are largely bolstered by only 262,000 key account holders.
The system has been largely rejected by motorists, who believe they were left out of the consultation phase of the project. Sanral has on many occasions tried and failed to convince motorists that the system is cost-effective and beneficial to the province.
In 2014, Gauteng premier David Makhura launched the e-toll advisory panel to assess the e-tolling system and many of the complaints surrounding the system.
The Gauteng government has since stated that, while the system would not be scrapped, its funding mechanism would be reviewed – likely to include a “hybrid” model, drawing revenue from a number of streams, including e-tolls.
The hybrid model would include:
- Funding from the provincial fiscus;
- A reduced-cap e-toll;
- A ring-fenced national fuel levy;
- Increasing and ring-fencing the cost of advertising on toll routes;
- Increasing and ring-fencing vehicle license fees;
- Increasing fees for tyres;
- and recovering funds from the construction industry.
The final decision on the matter is yet to be released, though an announcement is expected soon.
Meanwhile, e-toll opponents continue to call for the outright scrapping of the system, pushing for a ring-fenced fuel levy to be applied to finance it.