News / South Africa / Government

Bennitt Bartl
2 minute read
5 Apr 2019
7:37 am

E-toll debt collectors respond to Msimanga burning statements

Bennitt Bartl

The ETC have accused Msimanga of using e-tolls as an 'opportunistic ploy' to gain supporters during the election period.

DA Gauteng Premiere Candidate, Solly Msimanga is seen burning his E-toll bills along with members of the DA outside the Sanral offices, 4 April 2019, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The Sanral e-toll debt collector has accused the DA premier candidate for Gauteng of taking a short-sighted view of the tolling system.

Solly Msimanga had, together with supporters, burned e-toll statements in front of Electronic Toll Collection’s (ETC) Rooihuiskraal offices on Thursday morning, reports Centurion Rekord.

“We as the ETC firmly believe the DA’s stance on e-tolling does not consider the bigger picture of road transport in the province,” said ETC CEO Coenie Vermaak.

ALSO READ: E-toll debts on ice… but don’t pop the champagne just yet

“We also view the DA’s demonstration [on Thursday] as an opportunistic ploy to gain supporters during the election period. Certainly, it cannot be in the interests of our democratic society, that political parties endorse the unlawful behaviour of citizens by promoting the non-payment of services.”

Vermaak also questioned the party’s stance on this matter, as it has not initiated any legal action to get the proclamation of the Gauteng freeway improvement project set aside.

“Tolling is an accepted funding mechanism for roads across the country and internationally,” said Vermaak.

“The Gauteng freeway improvement project has literally unlocked billions of rand of investment and created thousands of job opportunities. This can clearly be seen with the Mall of Africa, Menlyn Maine and Lynwood hub developments.”

The ETC maintained that the user-pays principle is the most efficient and fair funding model available, and said it had national government’s full support in this regard.

Vermaak called on Msimanga and his party to recommend a solution to funding roads in Gauteng.

“Simply scrapping a R25 billion investment and asset that belongs to the citizens of Gauteng, and destroying 1,200 direct and another 1,000 indirect job opportunities, cannot be considered a viable or sustainable solution in anyone’s eyes.”

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