Treasury joins e-toll court fight

2012-04-23 09:46

Johannesburg - The National Treasury has applied to intervene in the Gauteng e-toll case to be heard by the High Court in Pretoria this week.

"There would be serious negative implications for future financing of roads and investment in public transport, were Sanral (the SA National Roads Agency Ltd) to be interdicted from implementing the toll collection system," Treasury said in a statement on Monday.

The Treasury has applied for leave to intervene in the application to be heard by the court on Tuesday.

"National Treasury... will argue that the interdict should be denied and the implementation of toll collection should be permitted to proceed, as has been decided by cabinet and in keeping with the provisions of the Sanral Act."

The application has been brought by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance, the SA Vehicle Renting and Leasing Association, The Quadpara Association of SA and the SA National Consumer Union.

They want to stop the levying and collection of tolls on certain roads in the Gauteng from going ahead on April 30.

The respondents in the case are Sanral, the minister of transport, the Gauteng MEC of roads and transport, the minister of water and environmental affairs, the director general of the department of water and environmental affairs, and the National Consumer Commission.

Treasury said the case was important because it affects the state's ability to finance road infrastructure.

It also has significant implications for the integrity and sustainability of the public finances, Treasury said.

"Of concern also is the implication for Sanral's capacity to repay its debt, which is partially guaranteed by government.

"The integrity and sustainability of government's continued access to capital markets is a vital and essential determinant of South Africa's capacity to finance the infrastructure required for economic growth, development and rising living standards," the Treasury said.

Government has contributed R5.75bn to the project so that user toll fees would be lower, Treasury said.

Tolling of certain major arterial roads is necessary for economic growth and development.

"These routes are those which carry the heaviest traffic load in the country, and serve as critical economic corridors for both freight and personal travel purposes.

"In the case of the Gauteng freeway network, rising traffic volumes and the resulting congestion costs to users are a further argument for the recovery of costs through toll charges."

Treasury said road users benefit through improved safety, lower travel time and lower operating costs.

"Based on the current toll proposals, which exempt taxi operators and other public transport services, higher income users will account for over 95% of toll revenue," Treasury said.


  • Paul - 2012-04-23 09:59

    Also, when treasury says "government" has donated R5,75 billion, it is actually the taxpayer who contributed the money...

      Hans - 2012-04-23 11:01

      higher income users will account for over 95% of toll revenue, which is less than 5% of SA citizen!

      Freddy - 2012-04-23 19:54

      Paul, the terminology is known as a "fund shuffle".

      Jason - 2012-04-23 19:59

      At least there was a article in the newspaper that the DA has thrown out the idea of E-tolls here.

  • Warwick - 2012-04-23 10:00

    The anc were a 'FAILED' terror organization, but they sure do know how to wage economic terror on it's citizens. No to their lapdog, sanral and Nazi Ali. We will never be tolled to pay for your luxuary and thieving ways. Up yers sanral!!

      Jessica - 2012-04-23 10:10

      That's was run by a bunch of drunkards and then bailed out by Russia and Brittan

      Mhlonso - 2012-04-23 12:01

      Nazir Ali is public enemy number one. He is a good guy justifying a wrong course.

  • JaredVN - 2012-04-23 10:03

    So let me get this straight: Is Treasury saying that if we, like complete idiots, register for e-tags to get ripped off, and pay our tolls, that there will no longer be traffic jams on the N1 between Jhb and Pretoria? (Treasury is arguing in court that there will be lower travel times.) This being the case, if one does then get stuck in the traffic on a toll road, and there is a jam, this implies that Sanral has not delivered on its promise of lower travel times and therefore we can reasonably demand the full refund of any and all toll fees for those days on which there are traffic jams. The latter being every weekday from 5-10am and again from 3-9pm. Yippee!!

      NrGx - 2012-04-23 10:25

      You would think that, but the terms and conditions (when buying and e-tag), allow SANRAL to basically do as they please while the motorist fits the bill.

      Nirosha - 2012-04-23 11:42

      This does not stop the taxis from reckless driving, they are conveniently exempt.

      Asheel - 2012-04-23 15:58

      The reason why public transport is left out cause of the damage that will happen if they did not get exempted! Goverment is too scared!

      Alf - 2012-04-25 17:16

      Treasury will be in favour ofd e-tolling. If it fails, they (in other words the tax payers) have to bail out the government pension fund! How anybody can invest money in a scam like e-tolling is beyond me, unless they did not know that scamral (or is it scumral)is run by a bunch of thieves, or they are in on it!

  • Andres - 2012-04-23 10:11

    Maybe you should have thought of this when the government misappropriated/wasted/stole R30billion from you in the last financial year. Maybe the public wouldn't be so angry if government got their house-in-order. We'd be willing to pay if we knew money was actually being spent wisely, but alas... it funds tenderpreneurs, SUV's, ghost salaries and government cock-ups.

  • Peter - 2012-04-23 10:35

    It really does get to me that they go on about the fact that we are paying for safer road when the biggest cause of road accidents is allowe to use the roads for free!!! Taxis should have an even higher payment asthey are the higest risk on the road. I am so sick and tired of these organisations getting everything for nothing while we have fund everything! The only reason that this is so important to government is because it is another way to line their pockets from money made by hard work South Africans!

      Nirosha - 2012-04-23 11:39

      Lets trade-in our cars for minibuses/ventures. That way we can travel the highway for free. Free houses/free water/lights and now free from e-tolls. Smacks of double standards.

  • Sean - 2012-04-23 10:36

    What a load of absolute nonsense from the treasury. Every cent the government spends is given by taxpayers. We pay more than enough in tax to support every single service that government is supposed to administer.The problem is that government chooses to spend the money on other things. They prefer to give freebies to half the population so they can keep them voting for the ANC. The current situation where 5.5 million tax payers have to support a population of 50 million is unsustainable. The government must ring fence all taxes for their stated purpose. Then we will have propper services. "User pays" must be strictly enforced and those who do not pay must go without. Then we will see how quickly the ANC gets booted out and replaced with a government that will allow people to be employed without a mountain of red tape.

  • marius.dumas - 2012-04-23 10:48

    Government must be forced by the people to maintain our national roads to the best of their ability with tax money. They must first get public permission before spending billions on the publics account. E-toll is good only where a private company would build an alternative better road or route. “luxury roads”, E-tolling must never be used for our basic national road infrastructure. If government gets away with it once, they will get away with it every time. People should stop this monster right here, right now. I'm in Cape Town, it’s not suppose to be my problem. But when government start placing their burdens on the public, it becomes my problem as well. If they get away with it in Gauteng, they will bring it to all other areas too. This is a problem for South Africa to fight and not only Gauteng. This is the critical time where all political interest groups should put all differences aside and focus on one common goal and that is to stop this. It should not matter whether you are Christian, Muslim, atheist, black, white or coloured, man or women, rich or poor. We all will eventually pay the price it we allow this to continue.

      George - 2012-04-23 17:55


  • Konstabel - 2012-04-23 10:49

    The argument that e-tolling mainly affects high-income rearnees is total rubbish. In fact it is the total opposite, tolling is cheaper for high income earners. Tolling does not discriminate between a 2012 Porsche Cayenne or a 1990 Fiat Uno, they both pay the same toll fee. But if fuel levies, emission taxes and income tax are used for roads the Porsche driver will contribute much higher amount than the Fiat driver. So Cosatu is right in protesting as a lot of their members will be most impacted by the e-tolling. So once again the ANC is looking after the rich and not the poor.

      laurence.ross2 - 2012-04-23 13:18

      This is true, also lets not forget the impact that tolling will have on all goods (including the basic foods such as bread and milk). Only an idiot will think that tolling will only effect the rich. The last time I bought my bread and milk I was charged the same as the poor guy in front of me.

  • Ebon - 2012-04-23 10:56

    A lot of what treasury say makes sense. It is a huge issue that Sanral are unable to pay their debts. It would be a national crisis if they lose their ability to raise the capital needed to build and maintain our road infrastructure. But is that really relevant? Sanral screwed up, so we have to bail them out? Where is the accountability? Treasury, government and Sanral have totally messed this up. It is their responsibility to fix the problem. Their argument that we must just accept it and take the knock is totally abhorrent. Fire Nazi rAlli. Fire S'bu Ndebele. Fire all those tenderpreneurs who made a small killing out of this shambles. Then maybe think of coming to us, the taxpayers, and humbly ask us to co-operate because it is in the national interest...

      Jay - 2012-04-23 12:02

      By the way, who is the VOICE-LESS, OPINION-LESS, COMMENT-LESS dude who is holding the position of Gauteng MEC for Roads & Transport? I really think, this DUDE should be FIRED FIRST, as he must be CLUE-LESS. I Rest My Case.

  • Lungile - 2012-04-23 11:46

    I keep on wondering why are the taxis exempted from the toll, I stand to be corrected bt taxi industry is nt taxed in anyway. The owners and even drivers are making money yet nt paying any tax. They are frequent users of the road, like any other small business owner who is frequently on the road.

      JohnnoBfree - 2012-04-23 13:12

      You are dead right Lungile. Why should the taxi be exempt. Apparently if you took the taxi industry as one single enterprise it would be the largest in SA. Best part it is not taxed.

      Jay - 2012-04-23 13:28

      Simple Logic Gents. The TAXI Industry will RIOT, Block Off ALL Roads and Cause Chaos. They have done it before, you will recall. Added to this the SARS will dare not try & Tax them as fear for above. Only the law abiding tax paying citizens are and will be VICTIMS. This is ONE CHANCE for PEOPLE POWER to prove a point to Government. Do Not Buy an e Tag, Do not use these Toll Roads. STARVE THEM.....We can make SCAMRAL FAIL.....Stand Together..... I Rest My Case....

  • Toze.Pina - 2012-04-23 12:11

    "The government has contributed R5,75bn to the project..." is one of the big government's lies. The truth is "the taxpayer contributed R5,75bn to the project" on top of all the other amounts already channeled into the privatisation of the road's infrastructure and the enrichment of a few individuals and companies.

  • Jay - 2012-04-23 12:11

    Just like the ANC "Cover-Up" SECRECY BILL, once again, the CABINET has Approved to get the E-Tolls to Go Ahead. These are the "Single Brain-Celled" Oxygen Thieves who cannot remember that they hold these positions and jobs because of the Millions of Illiterate and Uneducated Mass Votes in the first place. These same poor voters WILL DEFINITELY SUFFER MOST because of Inflation that will result by these tolls. I Pray & Hope, that the JUDGE applies himself to the stark realities of what the consequences are - FOR THE POOR SA CITIZENS - and rules in favour of RIGHTEOUSNESS & PROTECTION of the MASSES. I Rest My Case....

  • Erich - 2012-04-23 12:51

    I think SANRAL is still owing the Gauteng motorists an acceptable explanation why taxis and buses are exempt from paying toll fees. Is it perhaps that if you adopt an more intimidating attitude you can get away with it. National Treasury further owes the Gauteng users (and all other motorists) of the tollroads an explanation why we were paying as part of the fuel levy a substantial part for roads and why this 'tax' was apparently not utilised for this purpose.

      Gert - 2012-04-23 14:34

      Yes erich if the fuel levy money was used for something else what will prevent them from using this money for something else again--makes one wonder about this secrets act and the criminal activities that can flow out of this and the channeling of this money to dubious projects or as gifts to Cuba again of other illegal activities.

  • Karmlin - 2012-04-23 13:29

    Contribute R5.75bn of tax payers money and then increase the fuel levy, .i.e. true case of wheeling and dealing!

  • terence.wessels - 2012-04-23 13:50

    Oh really? Well up yours treasury AND South African National Rapers And Lowlifes. We will NOT. Do not get tagged ppl, stand together.

      alansmartSnr - 2012-04-23 16:01

      It would seem that the Government and SANRAL have declared war on their citizens..Much like Ghedafi, the Taliban and other dictators. I'm pretty sure that if push comes to shove, the SA population will win this one.

  • Gert - 2012-04-23 14:23

    The collecting of toll fees must not even happen at all because the blue lights are a health risk----the infra red lights cause damage to the eyes because the eye does not respond to this light the same as to normal light and the pupil does not close and the eye is damaged. Little kids and BABIES lying on back seats staring upwards can go blind and adults will eventually fail their drivers licence tests and will be forced to resort to public transport as the Sanral managers probably knew what would happen.

      Gert - 2012-04-23 14:40

      We can probably already start court proceedings because those lights have been burning for some time now and all you need is a doctor's report on the damage to your eyes and sue them for millions.

  • TheMonk - 2012-04-23 14:45

    "Treasury said the case was important because it affects the state's ability to finance road infrastructure" Don't they get it? This affects our ability to sustain our lives. This must be a plot. Screw the public for whatever money they have until they cannot pay for anything anymore. The banks will take our houses, cars and everything that we have and flood the market with consumer goods that nobody can afford. The homeless and unemployed will move into the now empty homes that nobody will buy(the working class will now have been blacklisted) and the working will move into shacks.The working will not have to pay for services since there won't be any and the newly housed homeless/unemployed will not be able to pay for their services. Result! Anarchy. Well done to the government.

  • Pieter - 2012-04-23 15:31

    Can someone please explain why the minister of finance is backing a method of toll collection that is nearly 100 times more expensive than his own department will take to collect the same amount of money? The toll collection will cost nearly R 20 billion over 20 years which is 100% the value of the roads. SARS's collection costs are +- 1% of the revenue collected. Is there something we should know? Who is getting the money? Is it really an Austrian company?

  • Trefor - 2012-04-23 15:51

    Lets all hit the toll road on Monday. Even if you travell thru 3 toll. Flood the system.

      Zing - 2012-04-23 16:15

      I'll be coming from KZN to make sure I get at least one invoice, which I won't pay. Bring on the courts!

  • Zing - 2012-04-23 16:11

    SANRAL is a business for profit. Why should treasury be allowed to step in on their behalf? I smell a rat! DO NOT BUY AN E-TAG!

  • hanneselsdd - 2012-04-23 16:12

    think before you dumb people do things if you can spend millions on a party why dont you invite the country to join? no but we just have to pay up

  • Steynje - 2012-04-23 16:18

    "...lower travel time and lower operating costs.." What are these people smoking 'cause I also want some of that.

  • Batho-Batho - 2012-04-23 16:23

    This is one time when ANC will realise that we're not their money-making machines to feed their self-enrichment fat a****s!!!!!!!We are sick and tired of their nonsense & bullying tactics

  • Sav.Demetriou - 2012-04-23 16:34

    Hey national treasury and government, how about focusing on getting the vast majority of South African citizens employed so they can also contribute to the countries tax system, thereby generating more than enough cash to fund road maintenance and everything else rather than squeezing every last drop out of the few people that have to support the unemployed masses and EVERYTHING ELSE???

  • David - 2012-04-23 20:48

    Let us consider what we could allow here. In 50 years from now, our children will be paying more for the use of our roads. They will look at us and say, why didn't they (us) stand up and fight for our freedom to use our roads. Will the sins of the parents fall on the children. Fight against e-tolls, not just for you but for the future generations.

  • Jaen - 2012-04-24 08:42

    SANRAL = Stealing And National Robbery At Large

  • Justin - 2012-04-24 10:45

    Dean Botha from Botha Attorneys writes: "After perusal of Sanral Terms & Conditions however, and which must be signed prior to registration, you will immediately note that the advantages of registering as an E-Toll user is very limited and comes with various onerous and one sided terms and obligations favoring only Sanral. Many clauses in their terms and conditions are being viewed by ourselves as well as other institutions as being either unlawful or in contravention of the Consumer Protection Act." Anyone intersted in his full letter stating 26 DISADVANTAGES FOR MOTORISTS WHO ELECT TO REGISTER AS AN E-TAG OR VLN USER!!! please let me know and I will email it to you.

  • Carry - 2012-04-25 17:26


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