Gopolang Moloko
2 minute read
5 Dec 2018
1:38 pm

E-tolls are here to stay, political parties using cheap politicking – ETC

Gopolang Moloko

The organisation contracted to manage e-tolling services says the parties are using the e-toll system to score votes.

File photo. Anti e-tolling protestors are seen demonstrating under an e-toll gantry on the N1 South, 6 December 2012, during a drive slow protest. Picture: Refilwe Modise

The Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) company, a supplier of e-tolling and collection services to SANRAL, has spoken out against the political parties using the e-toll system to score votes.

This comes after the DA marched to Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s office to hand over a petition demanding the scrapping of e-tolls on Wednesday.

ETC, which has been selected to manage e-tolling for the Gauteng Open Road Tolling project (GORT), has described the DA and ANC marches “as political parties scrambling to sway public opinion and secure crucial support” before the voting season.

The company said in a statement that it came as no surprise that e-tolling was being used “as political football” with promises being made but unlikely to be kept.

The ANC has stated e-tolling would be scrapped, provided the ANC wins the majority in Gauteng.

The DA is also against e-tolls and has raised objections claiming there was a lack of public consultation and tender irregularities. They claimed excessive profit was leaving the country for Austria and the system was unnecessarily complex.

ETC issued the statement to address some of those concerns and claim public consultation on the e-toll project was a legal requirement.

They said extensive public consultation on the project did, in fact, take place, as documented proof showed in clause 10 of the OUTA high court ruling.

ETC added that e-toll collections were not going to Europe as reported in the media by various political figures.

“We reiterate that all money currently acquired by Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) from e-tolling is used for local operations and to fulfil our contractual obligations to SANRAL.”

The organisation said they were tasked to monitor freeway usage, the maintenance of e-tolling technology and databases, customer service for compliant road users, and the running of the collection service which assisted non-payers in resolving their outstanding debt.

GORT is world class according to ETC, which assists law enforcement by helping maintain traffic rules.

The company insists the “user pays” principle used for the e-toll system is the most efficient and fair funding model available.

ETC said they were committed to serving South Africa in fulfilling its obligations.

“We can confirm that e-tolling and the ETC company are here to stay.”

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