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DA to shed more light on e-toll contract

The DA has received its own copy of the 6,000 page e-toll system contract.

E-tolls. Photo: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has promised to make further revelations about the controversial e-tolling project after receiving its own copy of the 6,000 page e-toll system contract.

Earlier this month, the DA confirmed it would receive its own copy of the contract which it believed will shed light on the monthly fees Sanral owes its subcontractors and suppliers.

On Monday, the DA's shadow transport minister Ian Ollis said nearly half a billion Rand will be spent on chasing up motorists who don't pay their tariffs.

This will be achieved through sending emails, letters and calling drivers directly.

"It is actually a large sum of money when you think that it would only cost R400,000 if we had a fuel levy to administer that fuel levy."

Ollis said it's not clear over how many years this will be spent, but it appears to last the duration of the eight year contract.

However, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) slammed the claims as "mischievous".

It said the figures given in the contract were for a worst case scenario, and the real spending is likely to be much less.

The roads agency said this will be achieved through electronic communication.

'FISHING EXPEDITION'

Last week, Sanral called the DA's demand to have its own copy of the e-toll system contract a "fishing expedition".

"Good luck to them on their fishing expedition. We know we have done everything by the book," said Sanral's Vusi Mona.

Sanral also defended its advertising spend on the e-toll system on basis that it is new and the public needs to learn more about it.

The DA criticised the roads agency for spending millions on what it called "propaganda" for a system being rejected by society.

The roads agency told Eyewitness News advertising is part of any new programme.

But the DA claims it's a waste of money and has promised to search for a legal loophole which could enable government to pull out of the multibillion Rand project.

There's still no clarity on when e-tolling will launch, but the Supreme Court of Appeal will hear a challenge lead by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance against e-tolling next month.

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