Sanral chief defends toll contract

2011-02-16 12:01

Pretoria - SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) CEO Nazir Alli lambasted the outcry over news that a mainly foreign-owned consortium has a R4bn contract to collect tolls on the new Gauteng freeway improvement project.

Speaking at a National Press Club conference in Pretoria, Alli said the country was seeking foreign direct investment, but at the same time there would be an outcry if a foreign company was given work.

"We need to make up our minds. Are we going to say we don't want foreign investment?" he asked.

ETC Joint Venture won the R6.22bn tender to operate the controversial toll system.

It comprises 65% of the Swedish and Austrian branches of the traffic technology company Kapsch, while the South African company TMT holds a 35% stake.

There were four tenders for the project, with ETC Joint Venture the cheapest. The most expensive tender at R15.29bn came from a Norwegian/Italian/South African joint venture.

Earlier this month Alli announced that motorists can expect to pay 66 cents a kilometre before discounts when travelling on the 185km tolled Gauteng freeways.

The announcement has caused an uproar, with consumer groups and unions saying that the poor would be the worst affected.

Alli said that tolls collected would be used to pay off the estimated R20bn in loans obtained to build the system and to maintain the roads.

He said he believed that the tolls would have a minimum impact on inflation.

  • Sipho - 2011-02-16 12:19

    Who has interests in TMT? What payments were made from Kapsch or its subsidiaries/partners to foreign accounts for local entities?

  • Lone Ranger - 2011-02-16 12:21

    "Allibaba" and his 40 thieves... minimal impact on inflation my a**! As everyone else has been asking - what the heck happens to the fuel taxes and levies that are supposed to pay for this! Gimme back my taxes!!!

  • sunny - 2011-02-16 12:25

    "Minimum effect on inflation" thius guy is going to cause mayhem...

  • Julius Malema - 2011-02-16 12:27

    Vehicle License Fee (Tax) + Fuel Surcharge (Tax) = additional tax that will be levied for using the roads that we've already paid tax to use. If I'm paying 40% income tax + Value Added Tax on everything I purchase, then what the heck is happening with all of that money - socialism? Sounds like a good time to do some business and just not declare tax. Paying for something generally means you get something in return of at least equal value. I sure as hell haven't received anything in the remote vicinity of what I'm paying. I doubt anyone has, except those whom aren't actually paying tax.

  • Shrek - 2011-02-16 12:27

    @ Nazir Alli - tell that to my domestic worker & gardener. I terminated both their services to cover my toll fees.

  • Steve - 2011-02-16 12:30

    Had this been given to a local company, it would have had to be BEE compliant, and thus the costs would have easily been doubled, and fruad would have been rife. Leave it with the foreigners. At least the money doesn't go to SA fraudsters

  • Colin - 2011-02-16 12:30

    Thinking along the same lines. Can anybody enlighten us as to who are the directors of TMT, thanks

  • Joey - 2011-02-16 12:31

    SO why don 't we apply nationalisation as well on these one? Is it because some ppl must first stuff their pockets with our hard earned taxes? Surely if we can apply it to mines so we can on this one

  • Demoerin - 2011-02-16 12:34

    If they borrowed the money to build the roads, what did they invest? Does not sound like much of a foreign investment to me.... and like Sipho says, who owns TMT?

  • Jon - 2011-02-16 12:35

    What did you fix? It's the same old traffic on all highways. What you have successfully completed in doing is hiking up transport cost's which has a ripple effect on everything and congest our inner roads. Very clever as you have used our tax money and made us fork out even more for toll fees and special equipment needed, not to mention bank charges on billing..............

  • Hein - 2011-02-16 12:38

    Good question Sipho! Can Fin24 maybe look at this for us. Furthermore how on earth can Alli say that this will have a minimum effect on inflation. How does he make that calculation. All costs will have to increase in order to pay for the toll fees. Companies will not bear the brunt we will. Maybe we should do as they do in Egypt.

  • Solo - 2011-02-16 12:40

    How can we believe anything that was out on tender these days! Wonder how the bidders list was compiled in the first place? The whole thing stinks and we just protest against this toll to the bitter end.

  • tossmysalad - 2011-02-16 12:41

    This slaam ou it trying to pull a Shabhir Sheik move here. Tell him to go SHOA (Suck his own a$$)

  • Danny Baromen - 2011-02-16 12:41

    At the rate of 66c/km the roads agency will raise approx R200m a month... how much of that will actually go towards the SANRAL project and how much will simply disappear... And will Gauteng motorists get a rebate for the fuel tax that we're also paying for the SAME road network?

  • Scuba Steve - 2011-02-16 12:42

    Hmmm let me think about minimum impact. I do about 150Km a day in Jhb. That comes to R99 a day. So to round it off I am looking on average a R2100 increase in cost to my business. The small business' are going to take a big hit on this and no one higher up gives a ......

  • Vicky - 2011-02-16 12:42

    How many grasping greedy ANC paws are in here? Bet your bottom dollar there is corruption - they are stealing from us again

  • Werner - 2011-02-16 12:42

    Civil disobedience Ladies and gents! Do not pay for these roads! They are 40 years old! Foreign investment must be to benefit the people not to tax them! What are you telling us? You could not maintain this road?

  • Bose Goos - 2011-02-16 12:43

    It would have been ideal to award the tender to a local company but the track record of SA (read BEE) is so poor that it would have been a big gamble to it to a local company. The proposed toll fees are exhorbitant and one can only hope that sanity will prevail.

  • Dutch - 2011-02-16 12:44

    They would not have to pay back a R20bn loan if they didnt build the toll system in the first place!!!

  • mac_star_227 - 2011-02-16 12:48

    How does one buy shares in TMT? Great returns for the shareholders whilst the poor suffer.

  • F OFF - 2011-02-16 12:49

    Minimum impact on inflation....what a moron. Does he have shares in TMT? How on earth can anybody sit back and ignore these rediculous "tolls", never mind the knock on effect they will have on everything from food, petrol etc. Amasing how our "fearless" leaders sit back and watch their people getting abused without even blinking an eye...Zuma fight for your people you wimp. So far there has been very little improvement to my traveling time and to fork out +- R600 after discounts. This is legal robbery!!!

  • Fruitcake - 2011-02-16 12:50

    "He said he believed that the tolls would have a minimum impact on inflation." HA HA HA HA HA What a douche. This goverment is just one big rip-off.

  • Dparkins - 2011-02-16 12:51

    "Do we want foreign investments or not" er what happened to the crucial Job creation drive this country was going on????? those tolls will run this country dry!

  • Jack Kukard - 2011-02-16 12:53

    And what was your percentage kickback ali.......

  • DO not Pay - 2011-02-16 12:56

    Start an email Campaign, We will not pay for tolls! Simple

  • el - 2011-02-16 12:56

    Same old story. They bull sh#t us and we need to come up with the money. Our beloved zuma tries to convince everybody about job creation, but then the sods make sure that a big chunk of the money will leave south-africa in any case. Bunch of idiots..

  • Alex Scott - 2011-02-16 12:58

    I think the whole thing is rubbish! Just another excuse to rob the taxman. I will not pay it. They can arrest me. We pay enough tax as it is already.

  • Paul - 2011-02-16 12:59

    I am confused about the term "loans". According to newspaper reports in the UK when the road widening exercise started, SA was given varous "grants" by the then UK Labour governmnet and the EU for this work. These "grants" are non repayable. If we the motorists now have to pay for these roads with tolls, which are being used to pay back the "loans" then where (or to whom) did the grant money go????

  • Clive - 2011-02-16 12:59

    PROTEST.... the TIME is right for all colours of this nation to protest, we are all "GATVOL" of these idiots running our country into the ground. """VIVA PROTEST"""

  • Riaan - 2011-02-16 13:01

    Hier is n plan, kom ons bou tolhekke, en dan vra ons motoriste om vir elke kilometer wat hulle ry te betaal om vir die tolhekke te betaal... Dis briljant!!!

  • 50something - 2011-02-16 13:02

    Too many questions: Was the business case for this based on what the motorist WILL pay vs what the motorist CAN pay? It was very short sighted Mr Alli, to think that the public will just roll over and accept yet another blow to their pockets. Thanks for the beautiful roads, but do something about the fees - if it is reasonable, you will have the volumes using it, if the fees are not reasonable, you won't have the volumes and opposition to the systems will grow - a sound business strategy is it not? Who is TMT and what is their shareholding? Please reveal. Why is the minister only now wanting to consult with stakeholders - a bit late is it not?

  • Graeme - 2011-02-16 13:02

    So then if this generates roughly R200 per month throughout Johannesburg, then that will take 100 minths to pay back the R20 billion debt, assuming that no extra cars are put on the roads. That's 8 years, and again, assuming the price doesn't go up by the minimally affected inflation rate every year. Do they break the toll gantries down after this 8 year projection period? And who will pay for the repair and rebuilding of every single alternative, subsidiary road that is going to be flooded with traffic and ruin as soon as these tolls are implemented?

  • MM - 2011-02-16 13:02

    Hi All - there is a petition on Not sure how much this can work... but go sign!

  • reality check - 2011-02-16 13:03

    - Based on the ANC's dishonest, corrupt nature , I'd say this deal smacks of another fraud. Most importantly a full disclosure of the shareholding of TMT must be divulged.Bet your bottom dollar that it's the usual cronies of the ANC - Shaik family, Zuma family and others in the hierarchy. To claim that toll fees wiil have little impact on inflation only proves that this Alli is an idiot.This whole deal is rotten and posseses priviledged private interests at the expense of the SA citizens, who are financially at breaking point. The people must simply reject this whole toll plan outright - time I'd say for mass demonstrations and civil disobedience. Enough is enough !!!!

  • Axdef - 2011-02-16 13:03

    If they gave it to a local company that lacked capacity, then everyone would have complained about the resulting errors and mixups. And all this complaining about the tolls is very micheveous, everyone knew that the upgraded roads would be tolled, but they kept quiet until after the construction was completed, and now they want a free ride.

  • Resessie - 2011-02-16 13:06

    I'm glad someone started waking up. Join my facebook page - sanralsemoer Don't let these f*&^%ers get away with daylight robbery. I refuse to pay these fees.

  • M - 2011-02-16 13:08

    I think the whole toll road saga needs to be investigated by Patricia De Lille. Here is the trade off - if you live in Gauteng and use these highways no more vehicle licence fees and fuel levies. Has anyone also noticed that on your licence renewal form you are charged a R30.00 admin levy, er sorry, tax for having eNatis. Now forgive me if my memory has lapsed but I do not recall voting in a referendum saying that I was happy to have eNatis imposed on us.

  • Christee - 2011-02-16 13:09

    One suggestion, don't buy etags, then they will have to send out invoices based on peoples number plates. I doubt if their system will cope. Just like the camera fines, who rely on motorist paying for postal tickets. They rearely issue a summons. Just ignore them

  • Clive - 2011-02-16 13:09

    Mr Ali, you are right we need foreign investment without being taken for a ride. What you have done, you have taken our existing highways added an additional lane and made it a tollroad. We are still waiting for the tollroad between JHB and Kroonstad to be upgraded. We started of paying R4 and is now paying some R30 and we are still waiting. In my opinion, the toll system should not be run by foreigners. We are paying taxes by whatever means to keep the roads proper but unfortunately the monies disappear. You would probably be taken 80% out of the country. So we do not see it as an investment.

  • Chris - 2011-02-16 13:09

    I don't care about who built what or who's hands are scratching which backs. The whole thing is ridiculous. We pay tax, all to govt, some of which goes to road maintenance. We pay fuel tax, some of which goes to road maintenance. We pay licence fees, some of which goes to road maintenance. Now we pay this too. Will fuel tax drop? Will licence fees drop? Highyly unlikely. Estimates are that the law-abiders will contribute enough money to have the loans paid off in less than a year. That means over R20 billion in revenue can be generated in a year by this. Where will that go? Into maintaining 185km of tar? It's greed plain and simple. People will stay off the main roads and use back roads now. They will then have increased instances of speeding, accidents (especially pedestrian accidents) and gridlocked traffic. People will boycott, strike, protest and the govt will not care, the new cash cow is flavour of the month. They say that the system can't be fooled, we'll all pay for the tags and the use of the roads. Someone is assuming that the actual toll bridges won't be vandalised. Those sensors can easily be disabled from miles away with the right "tools". I think (hope) the majority of revenue will go to replacing/rebuilding the toll bridges. This is a revolutionary country remember. I do however hear that the 2011 Mercedes Benz range is awesome.

  • Jenny Tailor - 2011-02-16 13:12

    We will be paying these guys R4 000 000 000,00. How are they "investing" again. Oh, and Mr. Alli, I won't be raising my prices to provide for my increased expenses. Instead, I'll just take the knock of the reduction in income and the consequent erosion of my living standards on the chin. So don't worry about the inflation thingy.

  • Kevin - 2011-02-16 13:15

    What foreign investment if the Government needs to take the loan? where do the profits from the project go? I bet 65% will leave the country, so what foreign investment is that???? taxed into oblivion because government spending is inefficient and riddled with corruption.

  • solidarity - 2011-02-16 13:17

    How did the Egyptians accomplish this!/group.php?gid=19461404248

  • Pieter - 2011-02-16 13:18

    Mmmm - let me see.The tender was for 6.22 to toll the roads.Grants were received to buidl the roads.I heard figures of 20 and 30 billion that must be paid back.So where does the difference come from? R 300 million a month return pays back 20 billion over a little over 5 years. Tenderpreneur commissions!Watch ANC officials eating more sushi of dumb blondes.

  • al - 2011-02-16 13:22

    it is to pay for the new sanral office on the n1 near samrand .what a monster

  • reality check - 2011-02-16 13:29

    @axdef - Seems like we just found one of the shareholders in TMT. In the context of the overwhelming outrage and opposition to the tolls,your opinion is irrelevant.

  • eish - 2011-02-16 13:32 No directors listed on their site!!! Electronic Toll Collection products Being a leading traffic management technology company in South Africa, TMT has join forces with Kapsch TrafficCom. For over 20 years Kapsch TrafficCom has been proving electronic fee collection products, systems and services to governments, roads authorities and road operators worldwide and today has over 90 installations in 26 countries.

  • Kenneth - 2011-02-16 13:39

    I have also terminated my domestic help to pay the additional tolls.

  • James - 2011-02-16 13:41

    Dear Mr Alli, As a taxpayer in many different guises may I please point out to you that you are guilty of theft. I, together with millions of other South Africans paid for that road and we continue to pay road tax to maintain that road. You are now denying me the use of that road. If by some remote chance tolling is justified then apply it to the extra lanes that were built on land that we have previously paid for (maybe we as citizens should in fact be charging you for the use of our land!) and let me and other like me travel in the previously paid for lanes without transgressing into 'your' lanes. In short Mr Alli, GFY I will not buy an etag and I will do my damdest not to pay you ! Best Regards Jim

  • Val - 2011-02-16 13:45

    Not a peep from the taxi industry are they exempt? Most probably - together with the cavalcades rushing down the motorways in the yellow lines and wherever else they please...