E-tolls: ANC singing from DA’s hymn sheet

Dr Neil Campbell MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport

The Gauteng ANC’s submission to premier David Makhura’s e-toll review panel this morning in many ways mimicked the DA’s unchanged position that e-tolls are unjust, an unnecessary burden on the people of Gauteng, and must be scrapped.

During his submission to the review panel this morning, provincial ANC chairperson Paul Mashatile admitted to e-tolls being unfairly implemented, and argued for alternative funding methods, such as an increase in the fuel levy and increases in vehicle licensing costs.

While the DA notes the Gauteng ANC’s opposition to e-tolls, alternative funding should not be sourced from stealth taxes, but from ring-fencing the fuel levy.

More than R40 billion is collected annually from the fuel levy, which should only be used to contribute to upgrading and maintaining South Africa’s roads network.

However, the ANC-government’s poor financial management performance over the past 20 years has forced it to dip into every available resource to carry out its service delivery mandate.

The scrapping of e-tolls would not have a detrimental effect on tolling infrastructure, as gantries, electronic monitoring equipment and staff could be retrained and realigned to be used for law enforcement purposes.

Gantries would then be used to conduct average speed assessment (already successfully implemented in the Western Cape), to identify vehicles used in the commission of crimes, as well as to track and trace hijacked, stolen or vehicles with cloned number plates.

The end of electronic tolling on Gauteng’s highways is in sight, if the ANC listens to the will of the people.