An update from OUTA
The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) has responded to a report published on October 11, which stated that the Gauteng e-toll scheme was on the brink of collapse.
“OUTA has always indicated that the scheme’s ability to survive in the medium term as an efficient ‘user-pays’ scheme, was questionable,” the Alliance begins, adding that it was the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) that stated in court, in 2012, that the e-toll scheme would achieve compliance levels of 93 percent and an average monthly revenue of R260 million.
“Schemes of this nature around the world have generally collapsed, or were never even launched. Sanral has never been able to muster even half the public to come on board. The maximum compliance achieved was around 45 percent by mid 2014, which has now reduced to around 25 percent,” says Wayne Duvenage, Chairman of OUTA.
“With the failed scheme nearing two years of age, Sanral is about to announce a final push, with the introduction of its 60 percent discounted dispensation, in an attempt to hoodwink the public to come on board.
“We believe the new dispensation is a desperate folly that will not achieve the success levels required. At best, Sanral may get compliance back to June 2014 levels. This will still be a significant failure and will result in an almost R2 billion per annum shortfall of the required numbers to settle the bonds,” Duvenage continues.
OUTA maintains that the fuel levy, which has increased significantly to R55 billion per annum, could finance the equivalent of three extra freeway upgrade projects, every year.
“Thus, for Sanral and Treasury to pooh-pooh the fuel levy, as a viable alternative to finance urban freeway infrastructure, is disingenuous and indicative of a government that desires to make the cost of living for its citizens far more expensive than it ought to be,” concludes Duvenage.