The Democratic Alliance is shocked to learn that SANRAL is about to be bailed out, to the tune of R12.5 billion.
SANRAL is meant to be a revenue collector itself, not a burden on the national fiscus.
I have today written to Parliament’s Budget Office requesting them to remodel the existing budget for the Department of Transport to assess whether it is financially feasible to bailout SANRAL at a cost of R12.5 billion.
SANRAL’s financial distress is a clear sign that the e-tolling model is not working. Instead of e-tolling, if SANRAL had preferred a national fuel levy to pay for Gauteng’s freeway upgrade, we would already be years ahead in paying back the road construction debt.
Instead, today almost two years since e-tolls kicked in, SANRAL is in a worse financial position than before. E-tolls are an exorbitantly costly project, needing SANRAL to pay over R670 million per year to the Austrian company who operates the system.
By the end of February 2015, SANRAL was only able to collect around R60 million in e-tolls from Gauteng motorists per month. At this rate SANRAL can’t make a dent on the debt it ran up in building the Gauteng freeways.
Minister Peters has known all along that e-tolls could not work, and knew that this disaster was coming. Instead of reviewing the e-toll system, she has chosen now to throw billions more taxpayer Rands at a problem that is government’s creation.
SANRAL’s “cash injection” is an incontrovertible bailout, and this proposal must be rejected by Parliament.
A newly configured budget must instead be adopted once Parliament’s budget office replies to my written request.
Manny de Freitas
Shadow Minister of Transport
Source : Democratic Alliance