Reader: E-tolls missing the point
UPGRADE AND REPAIR EXISTING ROADS: Reader Marnus van Staden believes that tax revenue should be used to upgrade and repair existing roads and not fund the e-tolling project.
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Author: Marnus van Staden
After months of delays and talks with goverment, the Gauteng e-toll system will be implemented, the transport minister reported.
We've had many responses to the etolling announcement. Reader Marnus van Staden e-mailed us to share his thoughts on the Gauteng e-toll plan:
"I have been following the e-toll news with great interest as well as the reader comments that you have published. Personally I do not use the roads that will be tolled simply because I use alternative roads to get to work.
'LINING THEIR OWN POCKETS'
Now the problem I have noticed in the comments of most articles relating to e-tolls is that the people using the roads do not want the added monthly expense but the people not using the roads do not want to be burdened by the increase in fuel costs etc. to cover the debt created by SANRAL.
In this regard the government must be brilliant as they are taking focus off the main problem by giving us two choices, none of which will benefit the average South African.
The REAL problem is that infrastructure is a basic service provided by government to the people in order to support the economy. This service is paid for through normal taxes that we as hard working South Africans already pay. Unfortunately our government decided that this money should be used to upgrade their own homes and line their own pockets.
If the roads in question were new roads created to lessen the burden on the existing roads I would be happy to pay a special tax for this but as they merely upgraded the existing roads that have not been properly maintained and were in most cases in a bad state of disrepair I feel that the tax revenue they already generate should be used to pay back the debt.
And to the people that agree with the user pays initiative should the ministers then not pay the government back for the upgrades to their homes as they are clearly the only ones benefitting from it and who will be using it.
Is that not fair?"
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