The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) notes with interest SANRAL’s claims of 300 000 people having taken up the e-Toll discounted dispensation 60 percent and finds it hard to believe their claims.
The South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) is on record in the past, of providing grossly misleading information with regards to e-toll compliance and uptake. If their history is anything to go by, we believe their claims are nothing short of trying to put lipstick on a pig and trying to talk a good story, when in reality the compliance levels remain poor.
What SANRAL needs to tell the public, is how much of the R5.9 billion discounted and ring fenced debt to September 2015, was collected through this offer. “Anything short of R2.5 billion collected or committed for collection, will still mean the system will have only pushed compliance up to roughly 50 percent. This in itself will be seen as a significant failure for the user pays scheme,” says Wayne Duvenage, the chairperson of OUTA. “International evidence shows that these schemes fail when compliance drops below 85 to 80 percent.”
If SANRAL’s uptake of the dispensation was even as high as 500 000 motorists, the compliance will remain significantly below one million. With over 2.5 million motorists using the Gauteng freeway each month, this will mean that more than 1.5 million motorists will have shunned the discount offer, even after the massive marketing and coercion campaign launched by SANRAL over the past three months.
If this isn’t a clear message from the public to SANRAL and the Government that the people refuse to buckle to this carrot and stick approach, then there no hope for sanity to prevail on this debacle.
The e-toll scheme will never work, and if SANRAL or the Government believes that the only way to make this system work is through coercive legal summonsing and victimisation of its citizens, we believe this it is a dangerous route to follow and is not in the best interest of the country. However, if it is to court they want to go, then it is to court we shall go, to defend the public’s rights, as we prepare to expose the unlawful introduction of the e-toll scheme.