Johannesburg - The 200% rise in the SA National Roads Agency Limited's (Sanral) advertising spending for the past two years is a shocking waste of time, the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) said on Monday.
"This must go down as one of the world's most unsuccessful marketing campaigns, whereby several millions of taxpayers rands have been spent with little success in the promotion of their cause," chairperson Wayne Duvenage said.
Duvenage said an advertising budget the size of Sanral's was usually enjoyed by few of South Africa's large companies. He Sanral operated as a monopoly with government policy as its defence.
"There is something seriously wrong with any entity that operates in such a protected environment and [spends] so much money trying to sell an ill-conceived plan to society, whilst at the same time observing its credibility sink deeper into the mud.
"Sanral behaves as if it were a business operating in a competitive environment, seeking customers for its products over another."
Road tolling failures
Duvenage said examples of road tolling failures around the world were plentiful.
The levels of compliance the project required for its success in Gauteng would suffice, regardless of how much advertising Sanral threw at the problem, he said.
Transport Minister Ben Martins indicated in a parliamentary reply on Wednesday last week that Sanral's advertising expenditure increased from R30.4m in 2010/11, to R84.5m in 2011/12 and R87.1m in 2012/13.
Democratic Alliance MP Ian Ollis said on Thursday the figures were a "clear indication" that Sanral had changed its advertising patterns from awareness campaigns to "mass e-toll propaganda".
Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.