THE Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance said while it welcomed moves by the e-toll aisory panel to receive input from stakeholders, it was disappointed the contentious project was not rejected.
OUTA said it felt vindicated by its previous comments rightly rejecting the e-tolls payment enforced on low and middle income residents of Gauteng province.
OUTA cited comments made by the Premier of Gauteng, David Makhura, wherein he stated that “in its current form, the e-Toll system is unaffordable and inequitable and places a disproportionate burden on low and middle income households.”
Makhura went further to describe the matter as “administratively too cumbersome.”
“In this regard, we raise our concerns and disappointment that the e-toll system has not been rejected in its entirety by the panel.
Instead, we sense. There is a view to try and keep the irrational and inefficient system in place, even if partially so, to fund the bonds of the freeway upgrade.
“This proposal of a reduced or partial funding of the debt through the use of e-tolls merely exacerbates the problem, by pushing up the collection costs as a percentage of the revenue generated, making the plan more irrational,” OUTA stated.
On Thursday, Makhura said elements of the Gauteng e-toll system must be reviewed. These related to the affordability, sustainability and administration problems.
OUTA said it required more time to “digest the full content of the recommendations provided by the e-toll aisory pane.
The panel was appointed on July 17 to examine the economic and social impact of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project and the e-tolling system set up to fund it.
There has been a public outcry over the implementation of e-tolls on Gauteng’s highways, with many motorists refusing to pay their bills.
Source : CAJ News Agency