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Outa: Ramaphosa e-toll response 'pure propaganda'

The deputy president said there's been a positive public response to the change in e-toll fees.

Outa's Wayne Duvenhage. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Anti e-tolling group Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) has dismissed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's response to parliamentary questions over the new dispensation and says it is 'pure propaganda'.

Despite the national road agency's R20 billion budget deficit, Ramaphosa said in the National Assembly on Wednesday that there has been a positive response from the public since the change in e-toll fees.

However, Outa says that government's response does not reflect the large number of motorists who are against the e-toll scheme.

Spokesperson Wayne Duvenhage says the user-based system only received 45% compliance through coercion and tactics that threatened people with arrest.

"To say that everyone is now buying into the scheme is just nonsense, we've heard this rhetoric before. It's just smoke and mirrors. They're trying to create this impression that the public are happy with the system. The public are not happy," says Duvenhage.

But Ramaphosa defended Gauteng's e-tolls, saying that governments sometimes have to take decisions in the interest of all citizens.

"At times they do take an unpopular decision with a view of advancing the view of the many and this is precisely what has had to happen."

He said the new e-tolls dispensation eases what was found to be a disproportionate financial burden on lower and middle-income households, while exempting the poor.