Govt seeks 'win-win' e-toll solution

2012-09-21 08:29

Johannesburg - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has called for cool heads to prevail in the Gauteng e-tolling saga, and said the government was seeking a win-win approach for all involved.

"Theoretically, if the government wants to go and collect tolls tomorrow, it can go ahead and collect them, but that's not the issue," Gordhan told SAfm on Friday morning.

"The issue is how do we go back to the constituents and try to arrive at an understanding at how we are going forward?

"From the government's side, I can indicate very clearly we are looking for a win-win approach to the outcomes in this matter and we hope that all parties will join us in that."

He said a committee of ministers, chaired by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, had consulted with "various stakeholders" on the controversial e-tolling project, and was evaluating their concerns.

"We've heard their views on various matters and whether this is right or wrong, and whether it is correct to use e-tolling versus physical tolling. What are the financial issues at play?

"We are in the process of evaluating all of these comments and our own position and, very shortly, we'll go back to each of the groups that the deputy president has met and inform them of our view and, indeed, inform the public as well," said Gordhan.

He said there were several options to consider, such as continuing with e-tolling, or reverting to physical tolling, or increasing the fuel levy.

"Now remember that in the course of the debate we've had, there's been a lot of regrettable emotions which doesn't help to keep a clear head on these matters and, if anything, we have learnt in these few weeks in South Africa... it's very important for leaders to keep a clear, rational approach to these matters," said Gordhan.

"We'll have to ask ourselves, given our current economic context, given the fact that we have to pay this debt, given that we don't want to burden all taxpayers in an incorrect way, what's the right balance to find?"

On Thursday, the Constitutional Court set aside a high court order halting the collection of e-tolls.

In April, the High Court in Pretoria granted the interdict, and ruled that a full review had to be carried out before electronic tolling could be put into effect.

The interdict prevented the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) from levying or collecting e-tolls pending the outcome of the review.

Sanral and National Treasury appealed against the court order, and said delays prevented the payment of the R21bn incurred building gantries.

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  • bbooyse - 2012-09-21 08:39

    You scrap it and the people don't revolt -- sounds win-win to me.

      bevan.carpenter.1 - 2012-09-21 08:53

      the win win is government wins the pension money back and the foreign investors get money back

      QuintSch - 2012-09-21 08:57

      I agree. And "... finding the right balance ..." for Gordhan means something entirely different to the cash strapped motorists who are going to have their wallets ripped out their pockets through their scrotums again.

      elgh.elgh - 2012-09-21 08:58

      "all taxpayers in an incorrect way, what's the right balance to find?" It is easy, aske all your buddies to give back the money lost/stolen through corruption. This will be more than enough to pay for the tolls, and you'll have spare change for a nice dinner party.

      nicholas.graan - 2012-09-21 09:09

      Pravin Gordhan has turned into a loyal and disciplined cadre that blows with the ANC wind. He is the Minister of Finance, are you honestly telling me that being the countries' money man, that he supports this cockeyed collection system that is going to cost billions of rands a year?? Is it not his job to condemn it as a completely ludicrous system that costs R1 to collect R3? We already have a hair brain scheme called the National Health Insurance Scheme being forced down our throats that the country can clearly not afford. Coupled with the toll road fiasco this will see trillions of tax payers rands (that are paid by the tiny minority) going down the hole. Is our Minister of Finance conscious of all this or is he just taking instructions from the clueless "collective"?

      fussed.anderson - 2012-09-21 09:15

      A person who suposed to be educated, asking a question like this. What an IDIOT

      godfrey.welman - 2012-09-21 09:18

      Motorist through out SA don't object to fuel levy as our road also need improvement. This will stop corruption and same unhappiness going forward.

      thepatrickwinter - 2012-09-21 10:24

      Why is it that everyday we here of more bad news in every sector of society and govt. This week alone: 1.Miners strikes, bad decisions by Govt and Lonmin (suspicious signs of collusion and manipulation) 2.e-toll trial and outcome (Biassed ruling based on 'executive' power) 3.Durban beach /south coast sewerage spill and e-coli levels (Ineffective maintenance systems) 4.Jobs lost for mine workers (Greed and stupidity) These are only some of the main stories. The general ethics and conduct of people has deteriorated to levels I have never seen before. We have to change the leadership in this country to people that care for this land and the people so that the public have someone they can count on. Attitudes need to change desperately. It has been sometime since I have heard any good news and felt proud to be South African.

      eugene.meyer1980 - 2012-09-21 10:32

      It would have made a hell of a lot more sence to find out what happened to all that lost/stolen tax money due to corruption and use it to pay off all that debt. But its easier to just turn a bilnd eye on curruption and take some more money from the public. I wonder how many stakeholders would have still been involved in this e-tolling project if they were all told that there is NO profit to be made from this project? This government loves pushing the people of this country to their limits.

      Luke300 - 2012-09-21 10:51

      The only win-win situation is to stop the fraudulent activities by mostly ANC cadres, recover the money and use it for the purpose required. Taxpayers will not be continually milked while useless morons occupy high positions and abuse public funds!!! We will not pay more for something we are already paying!!!

      kobie.nel1 - 2012-09-21 11:32

      they have already scammed the pension money out of the fund without the peoples knowlege, now they think we should believe and trust them. How arrogant can the brainless be?

  • peter.fraser.92754 - 2012-09-21 08:40

    The Government is always in a win win situation ! You might escape a bit of toll money, but they will hit you with taxes.So who is the losers and who is the winners ?

      bbooyse - 2012-09-21 08:46

      It's win for government, win for cadres and lose for the consumer ;)

      sharon.erwin.96 - 2012-09-21 08:56

      @ bbooyse - the consumer always gets the short end of the stick. Government does not care about the people, only filling their pockets with boodle.

  • andrew.hendrikse - 2012-09-21 08:44

    Government have painted themselves into a corner, wasted taxpayers money and now have the audacity to look for a win-win. This is a lose-lose situation already!! its too late to talk of win-win!! It is what happens when an arrogant government ignores all sectors of the population and attempts to steamroll a corrupt system into place!!

  • siyanda.yeni.5 - 2012-09-21 08:45

    Mr Minister! \For all involved\ now we involved,but when it was decided on;we were not! You guys are a joke!!!!

  • gerrit.vanpletzen - 2012-09-21 08:47

    It will only be win-win if the taxed people get stickers absolving them from paying the levies, and all those vehicles using the roads whose owners avoid taxes are forced to pay the levies. Taxpayers are taxed to death already, and the money wasted by government. Why should the faithfull taxpayer bear the costs of the upkeep of the roads, not to mention the costs of collecting the levies.

  • customdesign - 2012-09-21 08:49

    I like this approach, best PR the government has done with regards to the roads since it's inception, let's hope for a positive way forward

  • alaina.nel.12 - 2012-09-21 08:52

    The best solution is that someone blow up the gates every month.

      JAbu.R15 - 2012-09-21 09:10

      @Alaina you stole my words right off my mouth

  • martin.brink.965 - 2012-09-21 08:53

    Get back the stolen money and you can fix all the roads in South Africa without killing business! Pure logic - no degrees needed!

  • darryl.maze1 - 2012-09-21 09:07

    Mr President. You said in parliment the other day the Majority has more power than the Minority right. You say that a small party cannot have the same right or power and a bigger party right??? Well Mr President. The Majority of the ppl do not want this e-toll. You and your few MEC'S want the E-toll which make you the Minority. So this e-toll must be scrapped because the MAJORITY has spoken.

  • leonstoumann - 2012-09-21 09:07

    @DelusionBuster.....We are already paying . How do you think they arrive at the current fuel price !!!!

  • camp.j - 2012-09-21 09:08

    Kgalema Motlanthe is on a hiding second to none. Any chances of him garnering support to lead the ANC kind of hinges on how he manages this committee. Zuma will know this

  • greypatriot - 2012-09-21 09:10

    Can somebody tell us who did the construction of the toll gates, who approved the construction and who will be paid for the construction of the toll gates? Once we know this we can establish who stands to gain from installing the technology and how much will be made!

  • piet.viljoen.98 - 2012-09-21 09:12


  • khethu.ndlovu.3 - 2012-09-21 09:12

    '...if govt wants to collect e tolling money tommorrow it can... Tjak! Tjak! Tjak' who are you fooling here? If govt had their way we would have been tolled a long long time ago. So stop this bullsht and listen to the people.

  • steve.blignaut - 2012-09-21 09:20

    Win-Win? What a idiot. There is only a win for this retarded gov... there is NO win for the people already struggling to maintain Zoomers family.

  • paul.kershaw.18 - 2012-09-21 09:20

    Always always always some form of subtle threat in Politicspeak from these guys. IN this case we are supposed to feel some gratitude that the government is not going to apply the e-tolls starting tomorrow and they're working on a win/win situation? Gordhan!! - really wake up - you should have gratitude that the tax payers of SA are still paying taxes!

  • kathy.mckimm.7 - 2012-09-21 09:22

    Simplest solution is to increase the fuel levy which will mean everyone knows what they are apying for the roads. Use that money for the roads and not let it slip into the general trough. The problem is that there are too many friends that are due to benefit from the e-tolling so it won't go away. Isn't graft grand!!!!

  • sean.odonnell.1466126 - 2012-09-21 09:25

    First step, get the hands of the politicians and cadres out of the cookie jar - this will save billions and circumvent the need to collect extra cash via this undemocratic system. However, the Gov will steamroll this collection process through, of that I have little doubt, so all we can hope for is that the fees become more reasonable and not the current extortion fee waiting to be applied.

  • - 2012-09-21 09:28

    ya neh! pay more for petrol, pay more for roads. when are getting taxed for oxygen?

      sean.odonnell.1466126 - 2012-09-21 10:16

      Please Tshepo, don't give them any ideas....

  • morama.sebata - 2012-09-21 09:32

    ANC must just take the money of the public coffers because they keep on stealing billions! They must go back and look at all valnurable areas where a lot of their loot comes from and take from there to patch this cr@p!

  • ludlowdj - 2012-09-21 09:34

    Unfortunately we live in a country with little or no long term endurance and very little social cohesion in respect of mass actions, so within a few months the tolls will be implemented and the public will use the road and pay the toll. a lost cause by any standard. Anyone with any self respect will however start using alternative routes and avoid both the toll road and its tolls. This very small conscientious group will sue municipalities and government for damages incurred on the substandard routes until government is forced to honor the legislation and maintain alternative routes to the same standard as the toll road.

  • albert.viljoen - 2012-09-21 09:52

    I think you should have thought about that before forcing it down our throats.

  • gideon.rossouw - 2012-09-21 09:53

    Freeways should not only be for wealthy people. I am really not sure why the Constitutional Court reckons that 99% of the tolls will be paid by the 'rich'. Public roads should be accessible and affordable for ordinary citizens as well, particularly because we pay tax and fuel levy already. They seem to suggest that Freeways are for people who Shop at Woolworths and not for those who Work at Woolworths. The arrogance of government also made things worse, when they announced extremely punitive tariffs at a VERY LATE stage, in order to SCARE people into buying e-tags. The bottom line is that it is a bad Policy,relying on a seriously flawed contract, which discriminates unfairly and was handled with the political finesse of a stampeding herd of elephants. And people are not going to pay!

      robqb - 2012-09-21 17:41

      Where do you come with this "Freeway" idea? It's not a freeway, it's a national road! If it was a freeway there would be no arguments about tolling!!!!!

  • evan.connock - 2012-09-21 09:57

    Win, win... I don't think so. If the general public actually stood to win, why were they not consulted? Surely if we stood to 'win' or benefit in some way we would all have been only too happy to comply? In reality, the e-toll concept was put together behind the scenes and the public not consulted. Mr Gordham, I believe you are being somewhat economical with the truth! And that's putting it politely. There are too many anomalies for the public to now start believing that Government actually had their interests at heart. The main one being government insiders standing to gain. Another issue I have is that of e-toll actually being a ransom of sorts, dare I say fluctuating ransom whenever the coffers are empty just put up the price, as is being done with the petrol price. Aside from this, what about the potential for fraud, someone is bound to find a way to beat the system and before we know it, we are getting bills for someone else use of our e-tag me a cynic!

  • theuns.barnardt - 2012-09-21 10:01

    None of the consumers where asked if we want to pay. They wanted to upgrade the roads for 2010 world cup , where is the money now and this is now 2012? Why use foreign contractors to do the work, we have a 24.9% underemployment rate,they could have employed 10 000 SA worker and paid them R3500 per month and a another 10 000 if corruption was stopped

  • thasmeel.singh - 2012-09-21 10:04

    No one asked SANRAL to take on this huge debt in the first place!!!

  • didi.schoeman - 2012-09-21 10:13

    Is it just me or is everyone missing the obvious elephant in the room? How does 184 km of highway cost R21Billion when a brand new highway cost in the region of R5 million per km? They spend R114 million per km... did they pave the roads with gold to get to that amount?

  • firstseed.mbeva - 2012-09-21 10:22

    Unfortunately only government wins all the time.How do you I win as a motorist by paying etoll?

  • jay.kganyago.5 - 2012-09-21 10:28

    There is no "win win" when one side r highway robbers and the other side r victims of highway robbery.

  • gavin.ray.102 - 2012-09-21 10:32

    go ask the average middle to low income earner if paying tolls on top of elevated fuel and food prices is a "win win" situation!! i say go shove it and find another solution. preferably one that doesn't end in you lining your pockets and crippling the people you're supposed to be looking out for

  • tessa.bircher - 2012-09-21 10:39

    The fact that the government and Sanral were thick enough to think that a tolling system that would cost MORE than the actual roads was the solution in the first place is laughable. And now Pravin hinting at physical tolling - that's just strong-arm tactcis - physical tolling will grind Gauteng to a literal halt, they know it can't work, so they'll go back to e-tolling as their "fall-back" as the win-win - we win by getting to work, they (the gov) win by extorting the money from their already broke constituents!

  • sean.venske - 2012-09-21 11:02

    "evaluating their concerns" thats new sa speak for "we will do what we like anyway regardless of what the peepol want".

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-09-21 11:10

    Stop government wasteful spending on themselves to pay for the roads as well as monies collected from fuel tax which seems to disappear very fast.

  • anette.smith.16 - 2012-09-21 11:11

    Well Mr Finance. How about this. I WILL NOT PAY YOUR FEES. So don't come telling me that there is a win win solution to this crap. Take your horse that you rode in to town on, and leave. If you need directions, I will happily supply them.

  • nadineelvina.francis - 2012-09-21 11:29

    Govt is still talking and has no win win solution in sight otherwise they would have revealed it by now.

  • chris.vandermerwe.560 - 2012-09-21 11:33

    Easy..Let's borrow it from CUBA & Zimbabwe

  • warwick.railton.7 - 2012-09-21 11:44

    Pravin - you are a nobody, an anc mouth piece. Whatever you say will be taken with a pinch of salt, you have no credibility, and you lost it when you took on the tax payers. No to the tolls – bottom line.

  • mluleki.duku1 - 2012-09-21 11:54

    Sanrail CEO realised dat he has blundered n tendered to resign these ANC crook ex-cons recalled him. There's no win win they mst cut their salaries n allowances n pay the debt. To hell with this day light robbery. People Let's Stand Together Against This Crap !!!

  • jay.vyas.984 - 2012-09-21 12:03

    "The issue is how do we go back to the constituents and try to arrive at an understanding at how we are going forward? Dear Pravin Gordhon, If you & YOUR ANC Party Government are GENUINE then try this: 1. Disclose the FULL PROJECT DETAILS about ALL Stakeholders - Local & Overseas Companies 2. Explain how this Project will cost the Citizens over R100Billion at the end? We want ALL untoward Agreements with the European parties exposed - Prove to us that NO TENDERPREUNERS are involved! 3. Is it true that about .86 odd cennts of every profit rand in the project will go to the Overseas Company? And for how Long? 4. As Minister of Finanace, Openly admit that the Awarding, Building and the Future Implementation & Colections process is DEEPLY FLAWED! 5. Finally PLEASE EXPLAIN why the TAXI INdustry will be Exempted! 6. Will I be Arrested if I REFUSE to OWN an e Tag? Even If I just forcibly own one BUT REFUSE to LOAD IT with Money? Will I be Arrested if I REFUSE to Use the Toll Roads? I mean use other routes thus avoiding them? Proof that this Government has once again NOT USED THEIR 2 BRAIN CELLS! I REST MY CASE! BTW.... Do Not Buy an e-Tag!!! EVER !!!

  • jimmy.walls.90 - 2012-09-21 12:10

    The Communist comrades of Gordhan's ilk have a vested interest in the e-toll. Their snouts are so deep in the gravy that they will have to downgrade lifestyles if it does not work. So it is the people against the ANCpf.

  • jessica.main.501 - 2012-09-21 12:10

    there is no win-win situation. government will always find a way to win. they will make sure we pay what ever they ask for. They abuse the taxpayer money, abuse their power. what is left for us is suffering from their abuse.

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-09-21 12:30

    Our human rights are being infringed by this thing. No human being should pay to use roads, as long as he does not use the roads as a means to make profit in commerce. American courts have ruled this many times, but it seems our concourt disagrees, which in effect make them enemies of the people and also outlaws!

  • dejaay.heineken - 2012-09-21 12:54

    Why da goverment can't pay that contract dat fixed the road becos the perpose was 2010 world up to fix da road and now da same goverment had made a lot of money on 2010 world cup so they can pay dat construction and leave us da hell alone! Unless they must give us 30% increase before and no tax must be paid!

  • teleki.maker - 2012-09-21 13:00

    Try that Mr Minister,Marikana was just a clip,u will see a full movie I am telling u.Who are the stakeholders u referring to?U people,instead of consulting us,the motorist,u consult valtures.U joking,all of u.

  • toofaan.monsoon - 2012-09-21 13:18

    In the end, I'd personally just love to see the maths behind spending over 20 Billion Rand on less than 200 km of Freeway. This works out to over one hundred thousand rand per METRE. We should be in the Guinness book of records for the most expensive real estate in the world.

  • mbambo.shi - 2012-09-21 13:20

    I have a WIN-WIN solution for E-Toll System. Motorists gets Fuel for Free and the Government recover the cost through E-Tolling.

  • irma.white.9 - 2012-09-21 14:56

    It will NEVER be a win win situation. Ever. And our "Democratic" Goverment won't listen to us.

  • phillys.winterbottom - 2012-09-21 15:38

    I have a beautiful handcrafted metal kattie that i made with surgical tube, and a huge box full of my kids marbles from when they were young. It is going to give me great pleasure to pull over on the side of the road at 2 in the morning (useless scumbag metro cretins are sleeping) and take out those cameras one by one. I am purposefully going to make a point of doing this once a week.Please feel free to join in!! DO NOT GET AN E-TAG, DO NOT PAY TOLL FEES. IT'S IS TIME TO PUSH BACK AGAINST THE CROOKED ANC THIEVERY AND CRONYISM THAT IS TAKING PLACE UNDER OUR VERY NOSES.

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-09-21 22:22

    Pravin's win win idea = tax them by increasing fuel per liter AND tax them with an e toll. First half already done and another increase coming.

  • braamc - 2012-09-23 15:20

    Voetsek Gordon

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