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E-toll case costs taxpayers R6m

2014-02-24 13:05

NOT PLAYING TAG: Outa doesn’t believe Sanral’s claims that thousands of South Africans have purchased e-tags. Image: SAPA

  Video

'The enforcement and administration of e-tolling is inefficient and grossly flawed.' This video explains why Gauteng e-tolls make no sense.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Court cases involving e-tolling on Gauteng highways have cost the taxpayer over R6-million in legal fees, according to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Gordhan said: "The total amount spent on the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) case is R5 786 643 and on the Tollgate Action Group (TKA) case R229 568."

According to the reply, the cases involved the State Attorney and six private advocates, two of whom were "on brief for the full duration of the matter" over the past two years. The question was posed by Freedom Front Plus MP Anton Alberts.

CLAIMS ARE HOGWASH

Sanral needs to be transparent on e-tag sales in light of the impression it was creating that motorists were "clamouring" to be tagged, said the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa).

Outa spokesman John Clarke in a statement said: "Sanral's number of 1.2-million e-tags 'taken up' is hogwash. What does 'taken up' mean? If they are inferring that these are fitted in cars making use of the Gauteng freeways, this is misinformation."

The SA National Roads Agency Limited challenged Outa's claim that drivers were not buying e-tags. Spokesman Vusi Mona said it was sitting with more than "1.2-million e-tags that have been taken up" and that 30 000 to 45 000 road users were registering each week.

'SITTING IN STOREROOMS'

Outa said it was tired of Sanrals' "tit-for-tat" claims.

Clarke said: "For all we know, Sanral's numbers include tags sitting on shop shelves, storerooms and elsewhere, but they are of no use if not fitted to vehicles travelling on the Gauteng freeways."

"The real question is why does Sanral not allow an independent journalist or auditor to simply take a look at their computer screen, in their operations centre, where this information is readily available?"

Outa wanted to know the exact percentage of e-tagged vehicles passing under the tolled gantries per day and for the month of February 2014.

The controversial e-tolling system was implemented across Gauteng freeways in December following a long court battle.
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Read more on:    outa  |  sanral  |  gauteng  |  south africa  |  roads  |  e-tags  |  e-tolls

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