Tolls: Motorists 'coerced' into paying billions

2012-11-26 18:30

Johannesurg - Government coerced Gauteng motorists into paying R71bn for the administration of the controversial e-tolling system because the state misled the public into believing that the construction of roads was part of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the North Gauteng High Court heard on Monday.

R71bn is the amount motorists will be asked to pay in order for the state to administer the repayment of the R30bn loan it took to rebuild the roads.

This was the argument made by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) in court on Monday when the judicial review of the tolling system began in Pretoria.

Outa lawyer Mike Maritz SC, who spent the day arguing against the implementation of the system, said the government, and in particular Treasury and the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral), failed to inform the public about the extent of the construction and that motorists would have to fork out tolls, until it was too late.

Maritz argued that when Sanral notified the public of the intention to revamp roads in Gauteng it failed to inform the public about the magnitude of the project.

“This resulted from the dramatic failure on the part of Sanral to properly consult the public and this has resulted in a shambles where there’s a public outcry,” said Maritz.

He said Sanral documents showed that the only major consideration of the agency when constructing the roads was the looming 2010 soccer showpiece held in South Africa.

He said government had misled the public into believing that the gantries and the construction of the roads were part of the world cup and asked the court to disregard Sanral’s argument that the relief sought by Outa was outdated as the review was brought to the court late.

“The non-compliance by Sanral was not an accident ... Had they been unsuccessful in keeping the public in the dark there would have been a huge public outcry,” said Maritz.

He accused Sanral and the government of deliberately keeping the public in the dark by also gazetting the tariffs only after the road construction had been completed.

Maritz said it was procedurally unfair for government to only allow 82 people to be part of the consultations in 2007 that were the basis for Sanral to go ahead with the project. 

Maritz said this limited number of people, of which only 32 attended the consultation and another 50 signed a petition against e-tolling, did not represent Gauteng residents who would have been affected by the decision to toll.

Maritz said the failure to offer motorists enough information at an early stage to make up their minds about whether to appeal against the tolling of roads was enough for the court to consider the review application and adjudicate on it.

The government and Sanral had since sent mixed messages that they would reconsider the tariffs, he said.
“To enforce payment of tolls will not be justified ... and the collection would be unlawful because it would be based on unlawful declaration of the notice to toll roads,” said Maritz.

The case has been set down for three days, until Wednesday, with Sanral and department of transport lawyers expected to respond to Outa’s submissions on Tuesday.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions is expected to hold marches in Pretoria and Johannesburg on Friday against the implementation of e-tolling, which has been widely rejected in various public consultations that took place early this month.
- City Press

  • werner.nel.712 - 2012-11-26 18:42

    And how much are the connected going to benefit? I see we are now paying R35.00 for an E-natis transaction.

      michele.holmes.1238 - 2012-11-26 18:55

      Most of that R35 goes to some tendrepeneur's back pocket.

      dean.polley.3 - 2012-11-26 21:34

      How can we allow ourselves to be led by this freak of nature?

      jeremy002 - 2012-11-27 08:13

      For the 'coonected' the name 'Gauteng' is very apt. The place of gold. The gold literally flows into their struggle pockets. These guys print money. For us 'unconnected' however, we need to revert back to the old name, 'Transvaal', because there is a law that says "_ _ _ en betaal, dis die wet van Transvaal". There you have it.

      heathway.master - 2012-11-27 09:36

      The e-tolling saga has generated such extreme anger from the motoring public, plus very positive support from major players such as OUTA,COSATU,DA, Afriforum etc., that in my mind it does not have a snowballs chance of acceptance and compliance by the general motorist. How many more billions of tax payers’ money is to be spent on finally implementing an insanely outrageous and expensive system, which is unlikely to get the support it requires to remain financially viable. Pure personal greed, obstinacy and arrogance from the Government and SANRAL. Only continuing this e-toll saga as this SUPREME CASH COW is just to enticing to let go of, both from local and international parties.

      heathway.master - 2012-11-27 09:51

      SANRAL and the Government have got themselves into massive debt through their own folly and warped priorities, now they make the public responsible, who must help them out of the financial disaster which was all of their own making. SANRAL was 1500% over budget on certain aspects of the project. The public must accept that they were wholly responsible for the ensuing financial mess. Let them go and get an international loan, and pay it off with taxes, supplemented by a massive reduction in politician’s salary, perks, as well as the continuous jolly’s overseas, accompanied by private jets and 5 star hotels. Implement the above for the next 15 years.

      alan.jerrold - 2012-11-27 09:56

      heathwaymaster - you are absolutely spot on. Sanral/ANC knowingly got themselves into this debt, carefully pulling the wool over the public's eyes until the R21 000 000 000 was spent, a lot of it into 'connected' pockets. Now Sanral/ANC must feel the pain. Cut ministers' grossly inflated salaries. Cut their credit card free allowances to R25K per month. Auction off Nkandla. Stop supporting last-century tribal regimes. Cut thousands of needless first-class flights and stays in 5-star hotels for utterly unproductive talkfests. You caused this problem Scamral/ANC. Now YOU must feel the pain.

  • adam.gardener.12 - 2012-11-26 18:42

    Not only are the tolls illegal, the whole government is illegal. Burn and bomb the tolls, and oust the government. Bunch of...

  • themba.thwala.775 - 2012-11-26 18:49

    This sick goverment is trying to milk stone. Most taxpayers are already battling, while the connected "cadres" whose names SANRAL refuses to disclose are rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of being billionaires at the expense of the hard-pressed taxpayer. South Africans need to unite like never before on this daylight robbery

  • gary.mackey.98 - 2012-11-26 19:04

    I may be mistaken, and please correct me if I am. Didn't the SWC 2010 bid include the Gauteng road improvement project in it's bid proposal? If it is the case, then to my understanding, and it was part of the bid, then what choice did the residents really have? Considering the bid had to be made in 2004!

      saintbruce.bruce - 2012-11-26 20:45

      I am not sure if that was part of the SWC proposal to create both the stadiums and supporting infrastructure - but that does sound likely. All I know is that we had two years of disruptions on the R21 , then a few months of nice motoring during the SWC then they ripped all that up again and another year and a bit of disruptions on the R21. Even the latest Gazettes on the matter STILL refers to it as the GFIP - Freeway improvement plan! What a lie. You cannot call a toll road a freeway as the use is not free. The deception continues!

      bradh.quaide - 2012-11-27 09:10

      I too thought that it was part of the SWC and thought that SANRALsoc and the contractors failed miserably to complete the works before the world cup. But the GFIP projects were never part of the SWC, it was only disguised as part of the SWC when government justified the disruptions on the roads by saying " a world class event needs world class infrastructure", knowing full and well that it was going to by funded by tolls. The nice roads you had during the SWC were only phase 1 of the projects that had to be completed and open during the world cup, before phase 2 started, no work on the GFIP was allowed during the world cup either so the contractors got a nice month long paid holiday.

  • timothy.crowley.96 - 2012-11-26 19:07

    This is not what I call nation building, the government is deviously scheming of ways to milk dry the very citizens that employ them! This should be considered to be treason, and those guilty jailed.

      robin.littleton.98 - 2012-11-26 19:21

      Hi Timothy The people that "employed: the government are not the ones that are being milked!!

  • sharmay.thuynsma - 2012-11-26 19:17

    Without viable alternative routes to take, the tolls are being shoved down our throats. I fully support OUTA and all concerned mototrists should help raise the money that they need to defend us.

      bradh.quaide - 2012-11-27 09:23

      I agree fully, when they posted the first prices I knew I wouldn't be able to afford it and started looking for alternative routes, the shortest and quickest alternative had 46 robots and an extra hour of driving (so that idea went out of the window), how can they justify tolling the main arterial into and around gauteng without providing even the slightest improvement to the "alternative" roads which are now going to be destroyed and blocked by all the freight companies who aren't willing to pay tolls. Do not for one moment think local government will fix alternative roads or even have the slightest knowledge of how to improve them, and once the alternative roads are gone and broken all the freight companies will be forced to use the highways again and then all those who said "I'll pay so that there are less traffic" will be buggered in any case and we will suffer just the same.

  • phillip.marchant.52 - 2012-11-26 19:30

    The truth of the matter is that the whole notion of road tolling is nothing but another opportunity to bastardise their position as guardians of state by a criminal ANC, to enrich the 'inner circle' of cadres, at the expense of the taxpayer, and the blood of the poor. Clearly the way to raise funds to build roads (if they were ever needed) is through the normal fiscus, and the petrol levy. These, however, are already being sucked dry by fiercely jealous dirty hands, and thus BBBEE-tolling is born. Why does the profit-chain need to remain state secret? Who could care a rodent's donkey if there was a little to be made for the genuine BBBEE beneficiary? No, secrecy is required when trying to hide something, and this ANC hierarchy, led by 4jets himself, leave absolutely no vestige of doubt, as to their intent to do only evil. Can you imagine the murderous scramble for front-row around the trough, if this nefarious crime against humanity is legitimised in Gauteng? It is the most crucial proving ground this country has ever faced, and it is a non-negotiable imperative that the good citizens of South Africa prevail, against a useless, uncaring, lawless bunch of imposters, and send them packing.

  • carol.paterson.923 - 2012-11-26 19:45

    Thieving swines!

  • tobydt - 2012-11-26 19:47

    How the hell does a R30 bilion loan balloon to a R71 billion repayment? Is this sheer incompetence showing its head here again, or corruption (again)?

      bradh.quaide - 2012-11-27 09:44

      It is simple, when you need to repay a loan and you pay more for administration than the actual Loan you are going to pay a lot more! Although the numbers doesn't ring true to me, if you think that the loan is for R30bn and you take ave interest you should be at about double that over 20years, so R60bn just for the loan repayment, considering they are paing 75% on admin for the collection, the cost to the public over 20 years must be close to R180bn just for the administration and then only R60 bn for the loan with a total cost to us of R240bn? But who knows, it's a "secret"...

  • hugh.robinson.56 - 2012-11-26 19:57

    The man is right it is the fault of each and everyone this has happend. I remember those calls for 2007 and 2009 input. At the time I suggested on this same forum that the public be aware. No one paid attention as always the cry when it is too late. Exactly the same is going to happen with water. Water is going to be privatised. The price is going to Rocket to at least R5.00/ 1000 lt within five years - eight years but others will still get it free and wastage will only increase. Rainwater harvesting is all but banned under the "source other than municipal supply" bylaws. If your consumption drops currently the bylaws allow you to be charges for full water services. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE

      RudiErnst - 2012-11-26 22:46

      At the risk of sounding negative, and while your foresight is appreciated, what are your proposed solutions?

  • nick.collis.16 - 2012-11-26 20:00

    I am fervently hoping this is the issue that the SA tax payer finally stands his ground on and says" No More"! If it is it may have a profound effect on government thinking going forward.

  • dean.polley.3 - 2012-11-26 21:10

    Read this: And this will provide all the answers to what's wrong in this country today!! Despair and despondency are the only words that come to mind!!

  • george.larkins.14 - 2012-11-26 21:31

    ITs simple DO NOT PAY.WE should stop paying Income Tax as well,cause it it is not used as it should be. Corruption,corruption and more corruption

  • warwick.railton.7 - 2012-11-27 06:25

    To Hell with sanral & the anc in their blantant corruption. We will not be tolled.

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-11-27 07:18

    I will not pay. I'm not working to feed these thieves. How can we accept that the contracts remain secret? It's our money guys. It might just be that this will be the straw that breaks the camels. Ack. Here's hoping

  • Rational100 - 2012-11-27 07:20

    The great danger here is precedence. Once people start paying for the e-toll debt, there is no way such payment will end as road maintenance will become the new motive to collect even more cash. I still to understand why regional roads must be paid for by people in the region when tribal kings are financed through central government. Surely, a regional road of an economic powerhouse is more of a national issue than a tribal king? ...

  • flysouth - 2012-11-27 07:29

    Lies, deception, smoke and mirrors resulting in a massive fraud perpetrated on the public of SA! I could be talking about the elections of 1994!

  • jeremy002 - 2012-11-27 08:17

    For the connected the name 'Gauteng' is very apt. The place of Gold. Egoli. The gold literally flows into their struggle pockets. These guys print money. For us un-connected, however, we need to revert back to the old name 'Transvaal', because there is a law that says "_ _ _ en betaal, dis die wet van Transvaal". There you have it

  • leonard.rom.7 - 2012-11-27 08:56


  • roiboss - 2012-11-27 09:22

    Funny thing is that you people want good roads and everything but you don't want to pay. You use the roads you pay for the use. There is just no satisfying a south African that benefited from Apartheid. They moan about everything and everyone that didn't benefit from apartheid

      clinton.bowden1 - 2012-11-27 09:45

      Un...RoiBoss, you have lost the plot, we have paid. Its called TAXES. When you get a pay slip, the PAYE is tax. When you buy something at the shops that acronym VAT is tax. When you purchase petrol large part of that R11.87 is Tax for the roads and then there is still VAT on that. When you go regsiter your vehicle you pay a transaction fee, that is Tax meant for the roads. So don't go telling South Africans "We don't want to pay". You should be asking where and to what as all that tax money gone to and why are the roads still so bad ? And if we don't benefit, trust me, you never will. You just don't see the sinking ship ( aka the bigger picture ). Wait till the titanic sinks again, then ask were are the life boats.

      theo.konings.9 - 2012-11-27 09:46

      And YOU people still blindly believe the cANCer is the salavation of this country.You are not as bright as you would like to presume yourself to be.Moron!!!

      ernest.letsoalo - 2012-11-27 09:51

      Why is everything has to be abt apartheid?Roi,we are been robbed and forced into paying for the government's mistake and failure of consumting with the public first before constructing these e-tolls..they knew that's by informing us,we wouldn't have agreed cos they r already collecting money for building these roads eg traffic fines etc..this has nothing to do with apartheid..and we r not even sure if the money reflected is the money government really owe..we sick and tired of this bullying by the goverment..its nonsense

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-11-27 12:11

    Notice to SANRAL Herewith I reserve my rights to under common law, that pertains to free use of the roads and highways, without any hindrance or payment having to be made. Sarel Botha

  • stephen.j.dickson.3 - 2012-11-27 12:31

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

  • freddy.vanwijk - 2012-11-27 19:44

    How many corrupt,dishonest and connected do we have to sponser as a result? The misleading by government has also caused the downgrading by rating agencies world wide nogal and yet we are asked to "exercise restraint" on salary increases when costs of living are going up by the second.

  • brad.wagenaar.5 - 2012-12-13 15:42


  • Jr Strydom - 2014-11-28 19:58

    Only the theives know .

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