Court case filed against Gauteng tolls

Court case filed against Gauteng tolls

2012-03-23 15:08

Johannesburg - A court application was filed on Friday to stop tolling in Gauteng, the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) said.

"It is a sad day when a nation's government develops a tense and threatening relationship with its people, when trying to force an unjust and unpopular decision into being," group spokesperson Wayne Duvenage said.

The fuel levy could be used to pay for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project at an additional cost of between 8 and 10 cents per litre of fuel, he argued.

If tolling of major roads in Gauteng went ahead, other provinces could expect the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) to finance their roads in the same way.

Duvenage said between 25 and 30% of Gauteng's four million vehicles use the proposed toll routes daily.

Sanral itself estimated there would be 2.5 million transactions every day. Around 10% of number plates were incorrect, which would result in some vehicle owners being liable for charges they did not incur, said Duvenage.

Pieter Conradie of law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr said Outa wanted an urgent interim interdict from the high court in Pretoria preventing Sanral from levying tolls on Gauteng highways.

Tolling is scheduled to start on April 30, according to the court papers. Outa's application is scheduled to be heard on April 24, Conradie said.

The alliance also wants the court to set aside the decision to toll.

Court papers were being served on Sanral, as well as Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele, Water and Environment Affairs Minister Edna Molewa and her director general, Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi, and the National Consumer Commission, Conradie said.

The Democratic Alliance welcomed the move.

"This is a very exciting development that we believe will force the government to reconsider the tolls," DA Gauteng spokesperson Jack Bloom said.

Outa is composed largely of motoring industry associations, including the Retail Motor Industry and the SA Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association.

The SA National Consumers' Union (Sancu) and the Quadpara Association of SA are also supporting the application, their representatives said.

Sancu spokesperson Cliff Johnson said the union believed the public participation process that led to the decision to toll Gauteng's roads had been inadequate.

It objected to the "agreement" between consumers and Sanral, which placed the onus on consumers to prove they were not liable for fees Sanral charged.

  • Dewald - 2012-03-23 15:22

    We can make Sanral a deal. If they do not force the new tolls on us, we will still pay at the old toll gates...

      LekoF - 2012-03-23 15:52

      Dewald you got that one right tjo - we never objected the old way because it's reasonable not this crazy idea, we being robed with our eyes wide open and the sad part is they forcing us to this.

      Nick - 2012-03-23 15:58

      Hi Dewald. If they decide to increase the fuel levy instead, then ALL toll systems should be closed down !

      George - 2012-03-23 17:19

      A toll road can only be considered reasonable under the following conditions: 1. It is a brand new road 2. There are at least one if not more alternate routes 3. If the toll fee is regulated to provide only a reasonable profit to cover, admin, maintenance, return on capital NOT SUPERPROFITS TO SOME SHADY OPERATOR(S)

      valcooperRSA - 2012-03-23 20:07

      Duh......thats where it all started....old toll new toll system wanting to be put in place we shouldn't be paying to use any road....the price of petrol and car licences is supposed to cover that

      Luviwe - 2012-03-23 23:47

      True VaalcooperRSA, wht does that money do if our roads are not looked after with that money. We are feeding a very corrupt system.

  • kenneth.roselt - 2012-03-23 15:29

    excellent, fight these idiots, and let them know who put them in that office, if they don't want to listen, remove them from that office.

      SaintBruce - 2012-03-23 17:09

      Have a look at the following Blog : If the writer is correct and the Government has invested in SANRAL via its Pension Fund, this could be a defining moment in the success or failure of the ANC led Government. If we, the Gauteng road users, defy SANRAL bu not buying eTags and not using the e-Toll roads, thus starving them of revenue, the bonds will lose value, SANRAL will face a credit de-rating and the Pension Fund investment will be at serious risk. This may be enough to give all those who have committed this grave error serious pause for thought. Perhaps they will sell the fighters and ships to pay for the debt to KAPSCH ( ooops , didn't they just buy all the weapons from a Kapsch sister company???) - the convolutions of our Comrades in their business dealings are showing certain 'tendencies' ! What do you think? Will you buy a e-Tag or not?

      kenneth.roselt - 2012-03-23 20:59

      Hey Bruce, short answer, NO i will not be buying a tag, they can try to lock me up, but then i'd make millions for free....

      Gideon - 2012-03-24 07:19

      Nobody can force you to purchase an etag...they shouldn't even dare try it!

  • Warwick - 2012-03-23 15:34

    And the DA on the band wagon again..............doing nothing but bleating. I pray these tolls fall like they deserve, but I've opened my eyes to the DA's inefectiveness on this whole saga. They would have just accepted this and when they took over, they would have also cashed in. A sheep in wolves clothing is the DA. Go the Retail Motor Industry and the SA Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, we support you BRAVE guys.

      Nick - 2012-03-23 15:59

      Hi Warwick .... what planet are you living on .... do more research please !

      frank.hartry - 2012-03-23 17:07

      You are right. Members of parliment of ALL political parties do not pay toll fees. Its a tax free perk and in the disgusting ministeral handbook. These disgisting people just live like parasites off the backs of we taxpayers.

      valcooperRSA - 2012-03-23 20:11

      @waewick.....duh....the DA is not the government...."YET" the moment the DA has as much say in this as anyone of us bleating here

      Luviwe - 2012-03-23 23:55

      True it would have been a free puplicity, something that every person is against, I had never seen south africans so united on an issue. South Africa realy desperate for an opposition that is able to read the mood and play their cards accordingly.

      wayne.duvenage - 2012-03-24 11:06

      On the contrary Kenneth, Jack Bloom and the DA were right behind this initiative from the start. We just asked them not to attach themselves to the court action, as we didn't want the issue to become a political affair and they were mature enough to see the big picture in this regard. They have led a good campaign through their TollfreeGP initiative. Keep up the support friend, if we win this one, big tick for democracy. Go well.

  • Dale - 2012-03-23 15:35

    Bastards... Bloody Agents... Where is Malema now... Him and Vavi both gone quiet??

      Ben - 2012-03-23 16:38

      Vavi organised the protest action against e-tolls and labour brokers. What did he get for his trouble. If Cosatu's voice is not heard by government, what are they doing in the alliance?

      Luviwe - 2012-03-24 00:01

      This alliance is about fooling the majority, these people strike deals behind the scene. I think that was just a publicity stunt from Cosatu, they anticipated that this thing wont be well received by the public. So they send Cosatu to gadge the mood, hence Juju had passed his sell by date. See it for what it is.

  • Ebon - 2012-03-23 15:49

    Although I too would support using the fuel levy to fund the toll roads instead, I am not so naive as to believe it will only cost 8-10c a liter. Who is this guy kidding? It will be at least 10 times that - and more than likely 20 times (ie R2 per liter).

      Briana - 2012-03-23 16:39

      Absolute rubbish Ebon. They are probably a bit optimistic, but the truth is it won't be more than 16c / litre. You have no idea how much fuel gets sold in SA do you? Well, let me tell you. According to the South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA) website - they give South Africa Yearbook 2008/2009 as their source - Gauteng used the following in 2009: Petrol 4,035,021,959 Diesel 2,288,314,281 Total 6,323,336,240 (6,323,336,240 liters x 16c fuel levy) / 100c per rand = R 1,011,733,798 per year Seeing as the above stats are now 3 years old, I can easily believe that Gauteng could be consuming much more now. So their stats might be right, and might include other types of fuel that I'm not considering above (for e.g. tax on jet-fuel?) But even assuming that the above is all we sell, that fuel consumption has not grown in the last 3 years, and that fuel consumption will not grow in the next 20 years, then a 16 per litre Gauteng-only fuel levy would cover the repayments. You are more than welcome to confirm this for yourself, by Googling "South African Petroleum Industry Association", and going to "Industry Overview" on their site and selecting "South African Fuel Industry". Scroll down to the bottom, it gives a breakdown of fuel consumption for the entire country by province, with pie charts. Don't be misled! Inform yourself.

      Carlos - 2012-03-23 17:05

      Briana is right. Pik Botha's son, who is some Public Sector "ANC-brown noser" economist, insists that the fuel levy would need to be increase by something R 1 to R 2 per litre to be a substitute for the levies. He's making the stupid sum that the loans used to finance the improvement [NB not "building"] of the roads would need to be repaid in 1 year!!! Where did he learn economics? The loansa are all long term loans, with repayment profiles of 10 years and longer. Fuel levies of 15c per litre would be more than adequate, I believe.

      George - 2012-03-23 17:23

      Did you not notice the levy was already raised. It is called preemptive action. No one even blinked. Sad

      wayne.duvenage - 2012-03-24 11:13

      Ebon. 20bn litres fuel purchased per annum. At 10c per litre gives you R2bn in revenue. Now calculate R21bn capital (for the roads and gantries), depreciated over 15 years at 9% interest (generous, one could probably get this financed at 7%) and you tell me what the answer is. 10c per litre my friend is more than what is required, so the maintenance can also be included

      Ebon - 2012-03-26 09:53

      Briana: 1) Posting your calculations to 10 significant figures demonstrates your numerical illiteracy. 2) Did you consider interest? A loan of R20bn is going to, even at favourable interest rates, cost about R1.6bn per annum just to service. So already your argument at 16c per liter falls flat. You would need to double that figure to pay this debt off in 20 years, assuming interest rates remain favourable. To pay the capital back in 5 years (which is what they want to do) you would need to raise that amount to 80c a liter. 3) Is it fair for this money to be spent only on Gauteng highways considering not everyone uses the highways equally? Surely money raised in this manner needs to be used to fix all the roads in Gauteng. So let's say, just to be fair, they should spend 50% of the revenue on the freeways, and the other 50% on the rest of the roads. Suddenly the levy is R1.60 per liter. Look, I still think a fuel levy is the way to go. But like I said earlier, you would have to be naive to think that a 10c rise in fuel cost is going to cut it.

      Ebon - 2012-03-26 10:09

      @ Mark: Not that I normally get picky about spelling, but the fact that you make a spelling mistake in a name that is only 4 letters long is telling. I don't have to know the price of a Polo Vivo or a Ferrari F430 to know that the Ferrari is going to cost between 10 - 20 times more than the Vivo. Just as you shouldn't need a degree to figure out that if tolls were going to cost you R500+ per month, you can't expect to only pay R20 a month by switching the revenue stream to a fuel levy. You don't need to look at any other data. It's bloody obvious.

  • Henry - 2012-03-23 15:50

    Who was so clever to give all our toll money to Sweden??????

      SaintBruce - 2012-03-23 16:26

      The person or persons authorised to sign the deal that 'empowered' them the most financially. The numbers simply don't add up properly and that usually means a strong whiff of smelly graft in the air. All road users need to understand they do have power to stop the eTolls. Simply don't buy a tag nor use the roads from the day the system starts. NO REVENUE to Sanral = we don't give you permission to take our money in this way! THEN - we, the public, call for a DEEP investigation into this whole affair.....I wonder if it's a clean business arrangement?

  • Leon - 2012-03-23 15:54

    The E-tol system is the most unjust thing in SA ever to be forced on it's road users. Get rid of the corrupt goverment and they will have the money to spend on our roads. All living cost will sour and even the person not owning a vehicle will be paying toward e-toll through services and food to make a living.

  • Henk - 2012-03-23 15:54

    i think this clever people must think carefully what they are doing! if they think i will pay a petrol levy in order for them to drive on the best roads in the country while i must be happy with government subsidised roads in the rural areas of south africa, they must think again. to fight the tolls is no problem but to let other people pay for your luxury - forget it!!!!

      Anthony - 2012-03-23 16:45

      nick --you ask warwick --what planet are you on---i may ask the same of you ---but to be more intellegent about this issue, would you please inform me of all the actions the DA have undertaken tostop this toll thing ---i look forward to your reply

      Briana - 2012-03-23 16:45

      Henk, it seems you are not from Gauteng. That's fine, the 8-10c per litre is based on a Gauteng-only fuel levy. Nobody else need pay for our roads, so don't sweat the R4.50 you would have had to pay extra for a tank of petrol. Gauteng uses 32% of the fuel for the entire country. It amounts to around 6,323,336,240 litres of petrol and diesel per year (2009 figures). But yes, Mark is right, Gauteng brings in 39% of the countries tax revenue, and yet is only assigned 18% of the national budget. We therefore already pay a crapload of things for other provinces, so you really can't complain.

      Anthony - 2012-03-23 16:47

      lol at your comment mark ---thank god henk isnt in a position to take decisions --lol

      hein.huyser - 2012-03-24 07:11

      You chop, It is nort a luxury to sit on these roads, it is a neccesaty, and seeing that Gauteng is the financial powerhouse South Africa need these and more. Blinkers and big picture. Think

      wayne.duvenage - 2012-03-24 11:18

      Guys, you don't want to introduce regional fuel levies into the system. This will open the door for more abuse at a regional levy. GAUTENG contributes R260bn to treasury coffers annually and receives in return some R64bn. We subsidies other parts of the country and have no problem with this. This is a national issue, you can't cut Gauteng off from the country. 10c to the national fuel levy pays for GFIP. Gauteng's success is good for all of us.

  • Jacqueline - 2012-03-23 16:09

    Henk, it’s no luxury to drive on the toll roads. We have suffered for years, spent hours and hours in the most horrible traffic jams, I had to replace my car due to its clutch failing. Botswana pays approximately R3 per litre of fuel less than we do. Do the math; we get screwed without any foreplay. Daily. I understand that the government invested their pension funds in this scheme and that is why they will forge ahead with it.

  • solverman - 2012-03-23 16:34

    I will never pay or get an e-toll tag... it just won't happen, but believe me..... we will pay for those toll gates... and they will still get their money.... they will just do it in another way, licence disk hikes, increase in speeding fines... fuel levies.... you name it.. we will be hit with them..... I am going to buy a horse...

  • Chien-Teng - 2012-03-23 16:50

    The government can just increase the fuel levy for the Gauteng province or for those fuelling stations within so much kilometers of the "improved highways" so that 1). other provinces don't have to fork out for "our" highways (and personally if I was to pay for other provinces improvement, I would be pissed off too! And 2). as the "improvement" continues to expend, then the fuel levy "scope" or "coverage" can expend as well to recoup the costs.... and from what Briana wrote about the fuel usage in Gauteng alone in 2009, we will be able to pay for all phases of the improvements with change!

      George - 2012-03-23 17:30

      Study deeper. Its not just the cost of the toll its the cost of construction; Over R200 million per km. Nowhere on this side of jupiter has anyone paid so much for so little road, that, by the way, is already falling apart. Please pay my share as well, since you are so eager!!

  • Erich - 2012-03-23 17:01

    My comments is only directed to the acronym used here. In Afrikaans it has (so think many people) a derogatory meaning almost equal to the K-word.

  • Nicholas - 2012-03-23 17:26

    Once again government has to be dragged to court to do the right thing. This money making scam has more to do with lining pockets than "maintaining" roads.

  • braamc - 2012-03-23 22:52

    The R30b stolen by the ANC government can fund all of this and more

  • Luviwe - 2012-03-23 23:40

    I think these tolling is going to increase the missery that we are already subjected to, whether you own a car or not it is going to hit hard on the wallet to the whole of South African citizens. I imargine the the cost will be passed onn to the consumer which is alredy hard pressed.

  • hein.huyser - 2012-03-24 06:44

    How is it that when a private organisation do the calculations they get to an increase of 8cents to a litre over 25years, but when gov do the same calculations they get to a minnimum of R1.00 a litre of fuel to pay back the moneys owed. Why is gov so excessive,? Miscalculation or greed? Even with R1.00 feul loading it would not take me to R550.00 per month that SANRAL wanted to bill me. This whole thing is a farce and like any gov project, it stinks of corruption and greed

  • hein.huyser - 2012-03-24 06:59

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