Govt Must Scrap E-Toll Contract

Neil Campbell MPL

Spokesperson on Roads and Transport

The DA in Gauteng maintains that government must scrap the existing contract for the e-tolling of Gauteng roads. The penalty costs for cancelling the contract would be much cheaper than maintaining the hugely expensive e-toll collection costs.

It would also be foolish for the national government to announce the long-delayed implementation of e-tolling tomorrow given the formal review of the system in the North Gauteng High Court on 26 November.

The DA insists that e-tolls be scrapped and believe that there is simple 3 step solution to the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) funding problem:

1. The national fuel levy must be ring-fenced, which will ensure that a true “user pays” principle applies;

2. Safe and reliable alternative public transport must be provided; and

3. The fuel levy will need to be increased by not more than 11 cents per litre. It can be collected by the five oil refiners which will decrease the cost of collection from the estimated R13 billion to almost zero.

This will fulfil the government’s requirement of the “user pays” principle, and will save billions of rand on an extremely expensive toll collection system.

The dogged determination of cabinet to stick to an overpriced, unaffordable and hugely unpopular toll collection system reeks of arrogance of the grandest order.

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