PUBLIC MUST BEWARE THAT LOWER E-TOLLS CAN ALWAYS BE RAISED LATER

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Caucus Leader

The Democratic Alliance notes that cabinet has approved the gazetting of terms and conditions, including updated tariffs, that will apply to users of the e-tolls in Gauteng. This will launch a 30-day period for public comment which Government says it will incorporate into its final position.

It unfortunately appears that Government expects only comment on the implementation of e-tolling, rather than whether we need an expensive and complex e-tolling collection system in the first place.

It’s no use sweetening the e-tolls by lowering the tariffs as they can always be raised later. Lower tariffs also make the e-toll collection even more irrational as we could end up spending more on the collection system than on the roads.

It’s unfair to call now for public comment without making public the e-toll contract, which SANRAL has scandalously refused to do even after the DA made an application under the Promotion of Access to Information Act.

Public opposition will remain unless Government can show that it is genuinely willing to address legitimate concerns by people who feel very financially stressed.

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