'It’s not too late to halt e-tolling in Gauteng'
Outa says e-tolling is an inefficient, unworkable system that should be scrapped.
CAPE TOWN - The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) has told members of Parliament that it's not too late to halt e-tolling in Gauteng.
The pressure group says less than 10 percent of motorists are complying with the unpopular electronic tolling system, which after several delays and court challenges, went live at the end of 2013.
Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage briefed the Transport Portfolio Committee today on what he says are the failures of e-tolling.
He says it is an inefficient unworkable system that should be scrapped.
"To say that the gantries are up so the scheme must continue is quite crazy. That is a small cost in this matter. The administration of e-tolls collections is over R1 billion a year. If you halt the scheme now you stop the process of billions of rands of administration, going forward; you stop the fight with society, going forward. You stop the fact that you cannot force compliance, going forward."
Last year, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a new funding structure which included reduced tariffs.
To ensure compliance, the government warned there were plans to withhold vehicle license renewals if e-toll bills were not paid.
The public was given until earlier this month to make submissions on the gazette.
ANC SLAMS OUTA
Outa has come up against criticism from African National Congress (ANC) MPs on the Transport Portfolio Committee.
It has repeatedly argued that a nine percent per litre increase in the fuel levy would replace the need for e-tolling.
ANC MP Mtikeni Sibande has accused Duvenage of protecting the interests of the rich.
Sibande was dismissive of the fuel levy alternative, saying Duvenage hasn't provided any solutions.
"You must not mix issues. The better people to discuss some of the issues of tax are the tax people."
Duvenage responded saying the alternative was not complicated.
"The alternative was simple, you cancel the e-toll scheme or you carry on. But if you want to carry on with an e-toll scheme that has a nine percent compliance, I don't know what that is achieving."
He says the e-tolling system is inefficient, expensive and unworkable.