Fin24

E-tolls: State not fighting public

2012-08-16 08:38

Cape Town - The e-tolling saga in Gauteng is not a duel between the state and the public, Transport Minister Ben Martins said on Thursday.

"It's not as if the people are on one side and government is on the other side.... We have been taken to court and the state has to respond to that case," he said at a breakfast hosted by The New Age in Cape Town.

He apologised for the "unfortunate chapter" in the first phase of the e-tolling project, which had largely lacked public consultation, and committed himself to making all relevant information available in future.

"There has to be transparency. There has to be information."

He repeated the message that there would have be some form of payment by road-users.

"We would like to be in a position where all roleplayers can contribute to finding a solution. The cardinal issue is that the solution cannot prevail where absolutely nothing will be paid for roads.

"At the end of the day, we can't just print money. A budget has to be found somewhere."

Martins said the reality was that the toll gantries were in existence.

The SA National Roads Agency Limited and the National Treasury appealed to the Constitutional Court on Wednesday against an interdict granted in April preventing the implementation of e-tolling on Gauteng's roads.

The High Court in Pretoria ruled that a full review was needed before electronic tolling could be implemented.

The appeal is being opposed by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance, which was granted the interdict.

The Constitutional Court has reserved judgment.


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Comments
  • jason.rom.9 - 2012-08-16 08:47

    no against the people of south Africa don't we pay more than enough

      jennifer.d.martin.750 - 2012-08-16 08:53

      not fighting the public... stealing from them. Taxes paid for those roads already.

      james.weather.50 - 2012-08-16 09:12

      Out of the 362,099 km's of roads South Africa has ... Why is this one such a big deal? - Because the ANC has business interests invested in it and it’s there to make money. As if the normal South African can afford to pay and extra R500 every month? And this is all along with electricity increases, petrol hikes, Food price manipulation, Banks fixing lending rates etc. etc... When is this going to end? Or are we the generation to leave a life of slavery to our children? Make no mistake this is the ANC 'government' vs the Public!!!

      press.enter.12 - 2012-08-16 09:19

      Then Mr Ben Martins it must surely be a fight between the people and the beneficiaries of patronage . . . . . . . ?

      mofstok - 2012-08-16 09:30

      I agree jason: we pay income TAX, 14% Value Added TAX on everything we spend our already TAXED incomes on, other stealth TAXES and LEVIES already imposed on supposedly zero-TAX commodities like fuel, property RATES and TAXES...where is all the tax money going to? NO MORE TAXES!!!

      alan.jerrold - 2012-08-16 09:33

      Mr Ben Martins, maybe you'd like to explain how TWENTY BILLION RANDS - a significant percentage of our total budget, was spent through Scamral arrogantly barging ahead without proper consultation? Maybe you'd like to explain why the deal involved an overseas company previously involved in the Armsgate scandal? Maybe you might like to arrange for an independent, fully transparent audit to be done by an outside body of the whole process? Maybe you could let us all know why the ANC suddenly and with great glee invested a lot of their pension funding in this rotten scheme, expecting massive returns? Yes, we all KNOW that roads have to be paid for. But we do NOT wish to make ANC-connected crooks rich. Listen up, ANC. The public is finally catching on to your horrendous corruption.

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-08-16 09:42

      Absolute rubbish - it is precisely that, a fight between the public and government because they want us to pay for something we have already paid for through normal tax. No consultation, just pay up. Well the answer is no. You implemented this project with no consultation, now you sort it out. We're not paying for things we have already paid for.

      minenhle.ndebele.7 - 2012-08-16 09:45

      we are paying enough tax, so they must make repayments with portion of tax that we pay, we can not fork it from our pockets wheres Billions are lost through government corruption..and tenderprenuer

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-08-16 13:11

      The minister has got it all wrong. The public is fighting against the extortionist government. We have had enough!

  • sean.bezuidenhout - 2012-08-16 08:49

    Just add 10c to the fuel levy like we have always done in the past. Finished!

      steve.barrow.104 - 2012-08-16 08:58

      Or just stop wasting the massive levy you already put on fuel.

      press.enter.12 - 2012-08-16 09:25

      Yes - lets first have a report back on what was built with the existing fuel levy . . .

  • neville.chamberlain.509 - 2012-08-16 08:50

    Yes it is - you want us tgo pay, we don't want tp pay. Then we are opposed to each other and by definition you are fighting us over the issue. Duh!!!

      TheyTookMyNickLaZynEko - 2012-08-16 08:58

      LOL, wow.

  • ewanvb - 2012-08-16 08:50

    This is the State vs the public, the public need to pay extra for using the roads around JHB. First they do the upgrades and claim that it is for the 2010 world cup so that the world see we have proper roads, and after the world cup they suddenly want tolls on the upgraded roads. The fuel levy is already 206.5c per liter of fuel after the last budget. What is happening with that money? Is it not supposed to be used for infrastructure? SANRAL makes decisions on behalf of the thousands of road users, and they expect the road users to accept that they will need to pay extra for using the road. If the e-toll goes ahead, the fuel levy should be scrapped and the savings passed on to the consumers.

  • evan.connock - 2012-08-16 08:51

    NOT the Govt versus the people!!! Tripe! You sir are talking nonsense. From the very start, the taxpayer was not consulted on the e-tolls. It was just going to be implemented so as to fill the dwindling state coffers. If taxes were used as they should be to improve the lives of the tax paying public and NOT to go into the pockets of corrupt govt officials, e-tolls may never have been required. Now, it seems as if Sanral are so deep in it, that Govt has to go ahead with it. Ultimately, the tax payer pays as always, well at least till we get a decent govt that has the public interest at heart.

      alan.gernet - 2012-08-16 09:16

      I concur 100%! Fact is that the Dept. Transport, Scamall, the Govt (Pension funds etc) produced a stupid plan to fleece the public by adding completely unneccessary costs to the roads with the tolling system. And they want to carry this plan on with every new and refurbished road in the country too. Sorry Uncle Ben - but the Govt has finally been exposed by the people, and when the true facts come to light in the Nov Court case, the Govt is going to have MEGA-EGG on their faces. That is why they are fighting this. Anyway - at the end of the day - I refuse to pay tolls,and I do not believe a single word that the Govt utters.

  • alan.ingram.355 - 2012-08-16 08:57

    of course it is ANC vs people of Guateng you idiot, we refuse to pay for e-tolls and u are hell bent on making us pay Stop stealing our money and instead put that money into paying off the etolls

      saintbruce.bruce - 2012-08-16 17:49

      Alan - remember Prahvin's "balanced" budget ? He is going to borrow R 360 thousand million over what is collected...whatever for? They could easily add R 20 Billion and pay off the e-tolls, unless....the actual bill is way higher. But SANRAL and the ANC are not telling us everything now are they? Why leap frog the Supreme court process [ can they legally do this] and go straight to the Con Court? Something does not smell like fresh fish here!

  • john.dough.5836711 - 2012-08-16 08:57

    Get lost, I will not pay.

  • charlesdesmidt - 2012-08-16 09:00

    "He repeated the message that there would have be some form of payment by road-users." Are you kidding me. 1 Tax on buying a vehicle(wich by the way are the among most expensive in the world) 2. We pay license fees every year. 3.We have a very big fuel levy attached to the fuel prices. Maybe stop raiding the the tax payers money will help a lot. This is the state fighting the public. No matter how you look at it.

  • Hugh - 2012-08-16 09:00

    Charge taxis, they are a business the same as others are. Then make it affordable say 10c per km. The day you understand that Joe average are not against tolls as such but the cost per km you are trying to introduce for daily travel is equivalent to paying the government to work. Another point is that you are driving up the cost to protect government's grand scheme the Gauteng railway.

      dewald.scholtz.73 - 2012-08-16 09:26

      And the method of collecting costs more than what is gained from the collection. To whose benefit?

  • larry.piggott1 - 2012-08-16 09:01

    Yes it is a fight and we will win.

  • shaylene.stenger - 2012-08-16 09:02

    And once again I state my case : as a citizen of this country I didn't ask you to put up the toll gates in Johannesburg and secondly what has happened to my taxes that you collect for the use of the road?

      arthur.hugh - 2012-08-16 09:17

      And as the people we will boycott the road, and they will go bankrupt.

  • david.moran.12914216 - 2012-08-16 09:03

    All road construction and maintainence must come from the fuel levy and vehicle licensing fees. Trucks and heavy duty vehicle need to have a license fee based on milage. Road goods transport should be expensive unless its short distance - depot to retailer. Obviously the rail system needs an overhaul but they should become the long distance carrier of choice.

  • francie.potgieter - 2012-08-16 09:05

    We already are paying road levy through the petrol price where is that money going to, because roads hardly ever gets fixed.

  • david.diego.14 - 2012-08-16 09:08

    if state not fighting public why trying to close their eyes

  • victor.windsor - 2012-08-16 09:11

    I am still not going to register, as I will not use highways anymore and just cause mayhem on the other roads.

  • warwick.railton.7 - 2012-08-16 09:14

    The anc government is at a full out scale war against the tax paying people of south Africa, don’t be fooled, the anc has egg on its face and will go through great lengths to save some face. Their lackeys, sanral have failed to properly inform the road user, the collections are exorbitant and the gantries were built prior to any further consultation. The anc was going to toll, regardless – thank goodness for OUTA, you guys rock and stuck it to sanral and their puppet masters, the corrupt anc regime. Ben Martins, you are on a hiding to nothing……………….we will not be tolled. Like everything you do anc, you fail miserably. To all you journalists out there, go for the money trail, find out who was to benefit from this gross corruption, name & shame them. Do some research, do some REAL investigative journalism…………there is blood in the water, go for the kill. Hooray for OUTA.

  • alf.pop - 2012-08-16 09:14

    Of course you are not fighting the public - you just want our money by bulldozing ambush taxes like e-tolling through, you bastards!

  • Andre - 2012-08-16 09:15

    The minister is ignoring the fact that the toll would be paid unfairly. Why are buses and taxi's exempt from paying the toll although they earn their income from using the roads, whilst the salary earner with a fixed income has to pay toll on his way to work? And what about the thousands of visitors from across the borders who use our beautiful roads? It is totally unfair!

  • arthur.hugh - 2012-08-16 09:16

    Hey Ben you can't throw flowers all over this turd and pretend the smell is gone all of a sudden. Rip those gantries out and sell them to recover some of your costs. Corrupt lying SOB.

  • ndou.miranda - 2012-08-16 09:21

    This is not right honestly not right. Ewonvb i will tell you where the money is going. The money is buying unnecessary new cars, private planes for what i have no idea, having parties that cost Millions of rand..... did i say Millions? Oh yes Millions of rand. And we have paid for them to spend, Hell no! And this does not even affect them cause they don't use the N1, M1 roads, we with no status has to suffer. The biggest racist in this country is this government nxa.

      theo.joubert.37 - 2012-08-16 10:44

      Well said @ndou I fully agree

      leila.loupez - 2012-08-16 22:18

      Well said indeed. If it's not gouvernment vs people, why can't I find 1 comment here defending the minister's claim?

  • AlQuestioningLife - 2012-08-16 09:23

    The ROAD USER is paying for the use of the roads via the PETROL TAX levied. The more the road users travels the more petrol is used and thus the more tax is paid. Surely this petrol tax money is what the ANC Regime should be using for the roads and if not then surely it is a clear case of misappropriating the road user’s petrol tax money. This really needs a full investigation by the opposition parties as the USER IS ALREADY PAYING FOR USE OF THE ROADS.

  • bryan.culross - 2012-08-16 09:28

    What bush is he sleeping under?

  • chris.greenwood.31542 - 2012-08-16 09:32

    Problem is that the Government took the money for the road from the PUBLIC Pension fund! Now they need that money back, so where are they gong to get it from...THE PUBLIC!!! Of course it's the Government Vs. The Public. They want money for tolls and we the public refuse! The people who have taken them to court represent the people of Gauteng, they are fighting for our right to use the road TOLLFREE! These narrow minded ministers run through life with blinkers on and think that the SA public will believe anything they say!! Shameful....

  • james.bondiski - 2012-08-16 09:32

    "He repeated the message that there would have be some form of payment by road-users." HEY CHOP BEFORE ALL ROADS WERE FUNDED OR MAINTAINED BY TAXES AND FUEL LEVIES. WHY NOT NOW!!!

  • marius.koen2 - 2012-08-16 09:39

    The biggest problem that I have with the e-tolls is that it takes half the money that it cost to upgrade the highways to collect the tolls. That in itself shows that there is a major problem. And this money will be paid forever, not just for a certain period. There is something really fishy and wrong about this whole e-tolls setup. Again we are faced with corruption and bad decision making and the man in the street just have to continuously fit the bill. It's ridiculous.

      alan.gernet - 2012-08-16 09:43

      exactly!

  • hendrikvs - 2012-08-16 09:40

    Really not worth the effort to comment on all the lies, corruption and arrogance of the ANC. They will never change as most of them never had textbooks at school to educate them properly.

  • pws69 - 2012-08-16 09:40

    We already pay, through the fuel and other levies (over R3 per litre). This is a DOUBLE tax, which is illegal. The Apartheid government changed the law in the 80's to fund apartheid and the Angolan war. Before that this levy was ring fenced to pay for roads. The ANC are no different to the Apartheid government if they maintain the law as it is, instead of changing the law back to its original purpose.

  • james.otter.10 - 2012-08-16 09:42

    What these responses say is that this government claims to be democratic but it is not very good at governing. You can't be democratic and ignore the people.

  • warren.carne.9 - 2012-08-16 10:04

    Now they want to offer transparency?What a joke.

  • ashwin.leckram - 2012-08-16 10:09

    scrap SANRAL. Let the fuel levies be used for roads as was advocated. Scrap SANRAL = no additional staff = no need to collect money illegally. The fight is most def between gov and the electorate. So glad this was brought up by a gov employee.

  • hudayfah.newman - 2012-08-16 10:27

    Hey idiot! can't you see people are already struggling to make ends meat?where's the 5billion that went missing? Where's the 2 billion for shower heads plane? Yisses,you thieving lot are bleeding this poor country dry.

  • douglas.white.9235 - 2012-08-16 10:39

    This is a battle between the Govt and the people of South Africa. Our fuel price is massively high with road taxes already attached to that, we have no alternative to the roads they wish to toll, we have no viable public transport option, there was no consultation with the people. Martins this is a struggle between the people and the Govt and if we have to we will keep fighting to the end. I will not buy an E-tag, I will not pay an E-toll. Get that through your head. The people never wanted this, take the money you need out of the hush funds that most of Govt money seems to disappear into and instead of trying to get these new operation running focus on getting the important ones running, for example the education dept, we pay for that and still our children wallow in ignorance. Housing, water delivery, jobs, basic services, food. you provide for us, we will provide for you, but not before.

  • hendrikvs - 2012-08-16 10:40

    Trolls still in Cape Town?

  • coenraad.vaneeden.5 - 2012-08-16 10:51

    They only want to force trucks of our roads thousands of drivers will loose jobs they want people to make use of RAIL \ trains \ see how mutch money goes to train in the next. Budget mostly blacks will loose jobs

  • cj.venter - 2012-08-16 11:09

    we are already paying for the roads, it's part of our petrol price you dumbwitt. we refuse to pay for something we're already paying for. why not take the money from the petrol price we pay and allocate it to the roads in the first place instead of random spending on cr@p we don't need like toll roads. did anybody here know that the actual petrol price is almost in excess of R7 per litre? the rest is for the roads and taxes, but since we already pay taxes the rest should be allocated to maintenance, upgrade and upkeep of the roads. greedy grabasses! i will not pay!

  • mark.a.fysh - 2012-08-16 11:11

    You are deluded, Ben Martens. Contrary to your utterence, this IS a duel between the tax-PAYING public and our dreadful government, who would otherwise suck us dry.

  • warwick.railton.7 - 2012-08-16 11:14

    Etolling is proof that you cannot polish a Turd. It will stay a turd.

  • emmanuel.roodt - 2012-08-16 11:19

    People in South Africa should drive around with a TAX CARD. In this way when TAX PAYERS get to a toll gate, etc... You the TAX PAYER don't need to pay!!

  • andrew.bryan.scott - 2012-08-16 11:42

    So nice to see everyone black or white and in between shouting the same thing, NO TOLL, do you know the fuel price in Botswana next door is R6 a litre and they get thier fuel from us!!! we truck it over the border and they are still able to sell it for half the price we get ripped off for everyday.

  • andrea.naude - 2012-08-16 12:05

    "Martins said the reality was that the toll gantries were in existence. " Which you thought would force the issue and the public simply had to accept?! Really?! Sanral attempted broad scale THEFT from the public. So yes. It IS the public against the State. You people (the state) are bleeding the nation with impunity. It is time, we the PUBLIC, stand up and say enough is enough. "It's not as if the people are on one side and government is on the other side.... We have been taken to court and the state has to respond to that case," he said at a breakfast hosted by The New Age in Cape Town. - OH IT IS VERY MUCH THE CASE OF THE PEOPLE AGAINST THE STATE with regard to this issue, do NOT kid yourselves. Now... as an aside, what is the bet, our "beloved public SERVANTS (snigger, chortle, wheeze on the servants bit)" will be exempted from yet another "Rip the AVERAGE CITIZEN OFF scheme?! Blue light brigade or no?!

      alan.gernet - 2012-08-16 12:32

      love the 'snigger chortle wheeze !!! LMML

  • mrsilver.spins - 2012-08-16 12:32

    if the government stopped corruption and use the money lost through corruption, we'll have this paid in no time. The Auditor General early this year said, 23 billion was unaccounted for in government"corruption" etolls is 20 billion. we the idiots that must pay again

  • raven.sqarr - 2012-08-16 14:06

    "Martins said the reality was that the toll gantries were in existence." That can be taken care of easily.

  • stephen.j.dickson.3 - 2012-08-16 14:15

    Pay e-toll and get used to eating Epol.........bottom line.

      mark.a.fysh - 2012-08-16 16:15

      Superb line, Stephen!

  • PeerEducatorHIV - 2012-08-16 15:13

    There is money to pay huge packages for Government Ministers, who sit yawning and chewing gum in parliament. Town managers and incompetent officials that earn Millions of Rand while the water , electricity and housing situation is shocking. We paid for sports stadiums we don’t use and corrupt Govetnmet and muncipal tenders. We paid to build Sasol with fuel levys so they could export the oil made from coal and earn U$D. Paying for Eskom and the new coal powered power stations that will be a very expensive option to run so we will pay more. We paid for an in city bus service that we gave to the taxi industry, and a high-tech train that is often late or not running. Do you think that the public is totally stupid? And you think you are not fighting the public? Thank Again

  • colin.ashby.35 - 2012-08-16 16:09

    clem sunter thinks its a good idea to pay for tolls. maybe he can try and convince the govt to squeeze our nuts even tighter.

  • andrew.newman.98837 - 2012-08-16 18:16

    R108 million per kilometer. Sounds like a bargain. Think I'll get them to do my driveway at 50m it'll only be a paltry R5.8 million.

  • godwin.symons - 2012-08-16 20:19

    Once again this government makes me sick. This Ben Martins must stop with thieving from the motorists. If he spent the fuel levy on what is intended, I.E. roads. South Africa would have the best transport infrastructure and system in the world. Ben, please STOP with the BS already. There is more than enough money, just stop channeling it into your pockets, bank accounts and high life as a parasitic politician!! DO A LITTLE WORK AND FACE RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT YOU ARE PAID FOR. It will show big dividends!!!!

  • kerzner.kops - 2012-08-16 21:21

    Mr. Minister, LET ME TELL YOU ONE THING THAT YOU DIDN'T ASK. SINCE YOU GOT INTO THAT FANCY POSITION OF YOURS, YOU HAVE SUDDENLY DEVELOPED AMNESIA. AS TAX PAYERS IN SOUTH AFRICA, WE ARE BLEEDING TAX MONEY PROFUSELY THROUGH OUR NOSES AND EYES AND EVERY OTHER PORE IN OUR BODIES - THIS IS "TAXATION EBOLA". THIS E-TOLLING IS GOING TO ADD TO AN ALREADY OVER-BURDENED TAX BASE. YOU ARE LITERALLY KILLING US - WE HAVE TO DEFEND OURSELVES WHEN YOU KILL US LIKE THIS. IF IT GOES THAT FAR, WE'LL FIGHT BACK BY ALL MEANS NECESSARY. WE CAN'T EVEN WORK OVERTIME TO EARN MORE MONEY B'COS IT ENDS UP BEING A JOKE AS YOU FLIPPIN' STEAL THE WHOLE 50% OF IT IN TAXES. WHERE MUST WE RUN TO??? TELL ME WHERE MUST WE RUN TO IN ORDER TO HIDE FROM YOU AS THE GOV'MENT? YOU SAY YOU ARE NOT FIGHTING THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY - LISTEN HERE BOETIE, THIS E-TOLLING THING HAS DECLARED WAR TO US BY YOU GOV'MENT. IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW YOU PUT IT. GO AHEAD WITH IT AND YOU WILL SEE WHAT WE ARE MADE OF. WE'RE TIRED OF OUR INSIDES BEING RIPPED RIGHT OUT WITH SUCH IMPUNITY & CRUELTY. GO AHEAD WITH THE PASSING OF THAT E-TOLL BILL THROUGH PARLIAMENT, AND YOU SEE A GHOST!!! DON'T THINK THAT AS GOV'MENT YOU'RE INVINCIBLE. THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF YOUR DOWNFALL. GO AND TELL THEM. WE ARE NO LONGER THE "ROLL-OVER-AND-PLAY-DEAD" TYPES ANYMORE THAT WE CAN JUST BE SCR#WED ANYHOW!!! I HAVE SPOKEN TOGETHER WITH A COUNTLESS OTHERS.

  • vasee.pillay - 2012-08-16 21:38

    Scrap e tolls immediately as we were not consulted. This is another arms deal gone wrong. Where are the ANC ROGUES NOW.

  • leila.loupez - 2012-08-16 22:31

    I have just one argument in favour of e-tolls. If implemented, it will cost the ruling party dearly coming elections. It would therefore strengthen the combined opposition and might just be the the start of real democracy in South Africa.

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