E-tolls opposition 'foolish' - MEC

2012-02-29 07:12

Putting Gautengs toll roads into operation should not be affected by the Democratic Alliance's opposition, transport MEC Ismail Vadi said on Tuesday.

"I'm not concerned," Vadi said in Johannesburg while responding to reports of the Democratic Alliance taking the matter to court.

He said the cabinet had given enough time for public consultation and felt finance minister Pravin Gordhan should be commended for the R5.8-billion contribution to toll-road costs  to the SA National Roads Agency.

"I think we have met the public halfway. I think opposition parties are just now being foolish," Vadi said.


Government spokesman Jimmy Manyi recently said Gauteng toll-road fees were set to become a "fact of life" and the law and the government would tolerate no disobedience.
He advised freeway users in the province to go out and buy their e-tags, the use of which allowed drivers a discount on the fees charged.

"This is not just a bad dream; it's a reality, it's going to happen. Nobody should have any illusion whatsoever that this thing is going to go away," Manyi said.

With effect from April 30, 2012, motorcycles with e-tags would pay 20c/km, those without 38c.

Light motor vehicles would pay 30c and 58c respectively and non-articulated trucks 75c and R1.45.

Articulated trucks with e-tags would pay R1.51, those without R2.90.

The cost for motorcycles and light vehicles would be capped at R550 a month.


  • Ebon - 2012-02-29 09:19

    What is actually foolish is that a bunch of incompetent buffoons believe they are not entirely to blame for making a complete mess of this whole project. Yes, the freeway upgrades were necessary. Yes, they needed to figure out a way of raising the funds without simply taking it out of the tax budget. The people who organised this project just expected the public to pay for incompetence, poor planning, and a big dose of corruption. Well sorry for you, but we are not happy about this. And you can't force us to pay. So we won't. It's that simple. So my message to mr Vadi: Sort your crap out. Get your house in order. Fire those idiots who did a rubbish job (I am not talking about the people who built the roads, I am talking about the people at the top who didn't bother to think this through properly, but probably got paid huge salaries to sit on committees). Expose the corrupt officials who have skimmed billions on the side. And last but not least, come up with a realistic plan that ensures that everyone pays their fair share. Once all that is in place, I will pay my dues, but I am not going to just fork out money to pay for your blunders.

      Grant - 2012-02-29 12:58

      ........actually, they can force you to pay, however; this is going to be an administrative nightmare to handle, which will hopefully collapse soon after implementation.

      Ebon - 2012-02-29 13:22

      They can force individuals to pay. The problem is it takes effort and resources to prosecute individuals, and we are talking about a million users here, each using the road twice a day. Realistically they can only prosecute a very small percentage of road users who refuse to pay. The rest will simply get away with it. The reality I see happening is that Sanral will just take advantage of the honest minority, taking as much as they can from us, but ignore the majority who freeload. That is not fair. If I have to pay everyone else should have to pay their fair share too. The problem is that the idiots in charge of this whole scheme never stopped to think about the logistics of collecting tolls. I have no idea what they were thinking (I am beginning to suspect they actually have a severely limited capacity for thought), but it should have been obvious that their proposed method of fees collection was never going to work, especially in a country like SA where people are notorious for being uncooperative.

      Sean - 2012-02-29 13:45

      If most motorists boycott the e-tag system then SANRAL will be forced to bill each road user individually, every month. There is no way on earth they will cope with that cost effectively. Also, if they do not send the bill via registerd mail there is no way they can proove you recieved the account and a judge cannot issue a warrant. Also, will SANRAL send out bills nationally to out of town drivers who only use the roads when passing through Gauteng. Will this pay them if they have to send the bill via registered mail for a small once off amount. The strategy is simple. Boycott the e-tags and break the system.

      Sam - 2012-02-29 22:18

      @NuttyZA: Good for you... but I do have one question. If you are prosecuted, what will you base your defense on? You don't like the fees? It's so unfair? I doubt the magistrate will buy that...

      Grant - 2012-03-01 08:02

      Nutty. There is a third option. Don't use the roads. How suitable this is will differ from person to person.

      Clive.D.Buckley - 2012-03-01 11:41

      Sam, my defence would be based on the constitutionality and legality of the toll roads. HOWEVER. First, they have to fine me. Which I will ignore. Then they need to summons me to appear in court, which I will ignore. They will then hold me in contempt of court and issue an arrest warrant, which, in my experience they will never execute because they do not have the man power to do so. I know for a fact that currently, they only collect 10% of all fines issued. If people do not play ball and buy e-tags, this will be an even bigger administrative nightmare for them. They cannot possibly manage this if the majority refuse to pay.

      Clive.D.Buckley - 2012-03-01 11:46

      Grant, yes this is also an option because I could take the back road to a gautrain station and catch the train to work BUT why should I? They have spent 21 Billion Rand, without any consultation with the public on "improving" the roads, which quite frankly has had very little effect to the traffic and now expect me to pay for it. It is not even finished yet with most of the highways on the East Rand still at least 6 to 12 months away from completion. The sections which are finished are already breaking up. The entire thing is a joke. With regards to what Ebon states in the original post, IF money wasn't so blatantly wasted by government (million rand parties, 2 additional aircraft to shadow JZ's airplane in fact R25 000 000 000.00 worth of useless expenditure, then yes, you would have a point).

  • Ronald - 2012-02-29 09:40

    Hosni Mubarak, Gadaffi to his puppets " these people objecting are just foolish " To those who rule as if they own people...injustice, disregard for the will of the people and just blatant criminality through corruption, will only get you so much airtime, I say lets object for it is blatant mismanagemnt of public funds that have shoved us all to economic hardship!

  • Fredster - 2012-02-29 10:34

    public consultation...what public consultation?

      Grant - 2012-02-29 12:59

      There was consultation. They just never listened to any of it.

      Sean - 2012-02-29 13:47

      At every public meeting they were told to scrap the tolls. They just refused to listen. Now we must refuse to listen. Do not get an e-tag. Force them to do the work if they want the money.

  • Alan - 2012-02-29 11:10

    Don’t buy e-tags. I am not going to let anybody deduct money from my account without proof of service. I will insist that Sanral POST all photographs of my car (with my numberplates) going through the toll gates. They cannot email them because my spam blocker won’t allow them. Then if they can get that right then maybe I will pay (but I doubt it).

      Fredster - 2012-02-29 11:20

      I think you will have many followers... hee hee hee

      Alan - 2012-02-29 11:33

      All part of the plan Fredster69.

      Sean - 2012-02-29 13:50

      If they send the accounts via standard mail just ignore them. If they send them via registerd mail reply by telling them to send proof that you used the road, also by registered mail. This is reasonable as it is quite possible that many people will start using stolen number plates. This is going to be the next big theft problem.

  • Shane - 2012-02-29 11:38

    Ismail Vadi stated that there was public consultation. Where? When? That fact is, that we pay taxes yearly (SARS) and pay government tax at the petrol pumps ( a large %) that is supposed to cover the costs of infrastructure etc. So my question is, where is that money? Where is it going? Why do we have to have toll roads now and it will be a "fact of life" when before it wasnt necessary? A toll road was made to make journey's easier and quicker. Building on a pre-existing road, adding a lane and stating it is now a toll road is complete rubbish. Face it Ismail, Nobody wants these tolls, nobody is going to pay these tolls. You cannot possibly arrest every driver that doesnt buy an e-tag nor pays for use of a road that has been used "free of charge" for decades.

      Ebon - 2012-02-29 13:01

      I would love it if my tax money were spent on the infrastructure I would use. But reality is we live in a country where a very small minority pays the vast majority of our taxes and the government spends those taxes to help that vast majority. It should be obvious that our country's budget is always going to be stretched, especially when you throw in the ineptitude, inefficiency and corruption of our goverment on top of it all. Under apartheid, our taxes paid for our roads because that government didn't give a crap about paying for education, housing, electricity, water, sanitation, healthcare, roads etc etc for the rapidly growing population of destitute black people. The reality is that since the end of apartheid, the freeways in Gauteng basically got ignored. You can't just ignore it forever because eventually it will become a massive problem (it already was). One way or another, the taxpayer was always going to have to pay more if we expected to be able to continue to have a usable road infrastructure in Gauteng. I don't like it, but I do accept that reality. What I won't accept though, is the opportunism that has taken place at our expense. Government has a responsibility to ensure that the people paying for this get good value for money, since we already pay for everything.

  • Grant - 2012-02-29 12:55

    When the current government were encoraging civil disobedience 20 years ago; they did not consider it foolish. However; they are on the receiving end and they do not like it. I will pay the toll, but they must bill me for travelling on the toll road. They are NOT getting my account information. Manyi also needs to educate himself. There are currently no laws that force people to get e-tags.

      Ebon - 2012-02-29 13:33

      Yeah ironic that. A lot of the problems we as a nation face today are not so much a legacy of apartheid, but a legacy of the culture that was created by the ANC to fight apartheid. They created a culture of non-compliance. Of freeloading and breaking the system. Of recklessly procreating so that they could have an army of millions of angry youths. Yet at no point it seems did they stop and think how they would deal with these issues once they were in control. A good start would probably be to: 1) accept responsibility for these issues; 2) recognise that they are problems; 3) come up with a plan to try and reverse these behaviours. In typical ANC fashion though, it is easier just to pretend these problems don't exist, and blame the actions of other people in the past when things go awry.

      Jacques - 2012-02-29 13:49

      I'm with you. If they send a bill I will pay it, but I will not give them control via an e-tag. If they want me off the road, they must put up gates. I'm sure that at one stage or the other we will see some show of power and intimidation.

  • Sean - 2012-02-29 13:40

    For me, the biggest problem with the tolls is the fact that a private business is going to make a profit from this venture. The road user will not only pay back the loans but will pay extra so that some private company can make a huge profit. And, long after the loans are paid back the tolls will still be inplace and then the profits will really roll in.

  • Deon - 2012-02-29 13:41

    I've got news for Vadi, its not just the DA that's opposed to the e-tolling....

  • Jacques - 2012-02-29 13:47

    Can somebody just make up their minds and give us the real tarrifs. Damn, every bloddy media report differs.

      Alan - 2012-02-29 15:56

      I don't need to know the tarrif because I am notgoing to pay without proof of use. (ie a physical photograph of my car with my number plates)

  • Barry - 2012-02-29 14:10

    Come on, the government MUST be right - Support the tolls, get an e-tag have them deduct as they please from your bank account (probably way too much in many cases, admin & transaction fees, "I want a new Mercedes" fees, etc.), smile and use the roads that are not yet finished and where they are finished, are already falling apart. Sounds like a sweet deal to me... LOL R6.57 a litre for petrol, + tax of R 4.20, that is taxation at a rate of 63.9%!!!!!!!! I wonder how many litres of fuel are sold per day and what the government does with all that money. These parasites need forensic audits done accross all government agencies by private enterprise, time to lock these criminals up.

  • Johnathon - 2012-02-29 15:02

    The solution to road tolling has never been so simple. Every time a black man is not satisfied with his economic situation, he strikes en mass, until the employer either loses his business or capitulates. The gentler section of the population do not need to strike, riot, burn, loot, toy toy. All that is needed is for them to all stand together in civil disobedience. - Never ever pay any toll -Ignore totally any invoice or threat sent to you. -If they threaten to take you to court, ignore the order. -If they withhold to vehicle license for non payment of tolls - Don’t renew your vehicle license. -If cops fine you for no license-Ignore fine and don’t pay. As has been said previously, once their admin system is clogged with 25 million individual defaults, what action will they have at hand. Admin on the system is 40c in the Rand, with profits sent off overseas to make foreign contactors sticking rich. Also folks, tolling is just another tax upon another tax upon another tax. Please Gautengers, it’s time to stand together and show the Government that enough is enough. They can pay for the tolls with the 25 billion needless expenditure recorded in 2011.

  • Andrew - 2012-02-29 16:07

    My crystal ball is clear for once! It predicts chaos on a scale never seen before. A system that could be overwhelmed in a day. The authorities will never be able to cope - or catch up - if people decide they are not going along with this insane scheme.

  • Russel - 2012-02-29 23:28

    Rather than just fume on the comments section let’s do something concrete about this. I've started a cause "http://www.causes.com/causes/654768-fight-back-against-toll-roads/actions" with the aim or raising funds to stop the tolls one and for all via the courts. Visit the cause and leave any useful comments you may have. Invite others to join and let’s put a stop to this and hold those responsible accountable.

  • John - 2012-03-01 10:26

    This is one issue that has united all South Africans! No one I know has registered or intend to register for e-tolling. Unlike Escom if you don't pay they will dsconnect you. All SANRAL can do is issue a summons and I am looking forward to it!

      Russel - 2012-03-01 20:23

      That's the spirit. I will not buy an E-Tag and I'm quite sure I'll never see a summons.... They're too inefficient :-)

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