Gauteng Government not ready for e-toll roll out

Mike Moriarty MPL

Spokesperson on Finance

The Gauteng Provincial Government is not fully prepared for the imminent roll out of e-tolling across Gauteng highways, despite being the most vocal supporter and defender of the controversial project.

A series of replies to DA questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature reveals provincial government vehicles are not fitted with e-tags and there has been no provision made in the current or adjusted budget for e-tolling. Only one government department – Social Development – has had 10% of its vehicles fitted with e-tags.

The provincial government departments pass the buck for buying and fitting e-tags to G-Fleet, the provincial government’s vehicle management entity. G-Fleet has purchased 6 000 e-tags, and intends on buying an additional 1 000. The Gauteng public will pay R350 000 for these e-tags alone.

What is clear, however, is that the e-tags will be fitted to the vehicles, and the people of Gauteng will pay the e-toll fees for the provincial government vehicles, including the e-toll fees for the Premier and the MECs.

If, in 2011/12 and 2010/11 the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport alone spent R8 million on toll fees prior to the implementation of e-tolling, the additional financial burden imposed on the public purse – and directly on the people of Gauteng – can be estimated at far greater for all 13 provincial government departments and the numerous entities. This takes money away from much needed service delivery.

It is therefore no wonder the Premier and her MECs have vocally defended e-tolling. Unlike the people of Gauteng, they won’t be paying e-tolls and will continue to use the highways of the province while we foot their bill for it.

E-tolling will kill jobs in Gauteng and put an extra financial burden on people at a time when they can least afford it, while provincial government officials and senior politicians get off scot free.

This is why the DA opposes e-tolling and why we will continue to fight against e-tolls in every way possible.

The DA’s message to the people of Gauteng is clear: We will put everything in to the fight against this unjust and unaffordable system, but we need your vote to do it.

A vote for the DA is a vote against e-tolling.