E-tolls: Gauteng ANC must march with the people

By John Moodey MPL, DA Gauteng Provincial Leader:

Following the Gauteng ANC’s march to Eskom on load-shedding last week, the DA calls on chairperson Paul Mashatile to announce whether they will now march on SANRAL after yesterday’s e-tolls announcement.

The Gauteng ANC rejected e-tolls with much fanfare last October at their provincial congress.

They have since betrayed the people of Gauteng with a brand new enforcement strategy to ensure people across Gauteng pay e-tolls or face severe punishment.

Will the ANC again march against themselves for a problem they have created?

The truth is there is a simple, cost-effective alternative to e-tolls. The only thing needed is political will for government to ring-fence a small portion of the fuel levy to pay for the freeway upgrades.

In 2013, Sanral’s Vusi Mona said that 17% of all tolls would go toward collection fees.

At a cap of R450 per vehicle per month, that would have translated into R76-50 per vehicle per month.

However, with the cap reduced to R225 per month, the R76-50 still needs to be collected, driving up the percentage collection rate up to 34% per vehicle per month.

If this ANC government is indeed a responsive and attentive government as Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa claims, it would long ago have realised that there is no need to resort to threats when cheaper and less complex methods of funding are available.

E-tolls are killing jobs and slowly strangling Gauteng’s economy, and ultimately, the rest of South Africa will pay the price.

People are opposed to e-tolls, and by resorting to jackboot tactics, the ANC government will only alienate them further.

The DA reiterates our call for a provincial referendum on e-tolls, asking the question: Do you want a small increase in fuel levies, free from expensive collection fees and government threats, or not?

Given the severe betrayal of the people by the Gauteng ANC, we believe allowing people to vote on e-tolls is the most effective way for fairness and justice to prevail.

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