Fin24

Walkout mars first e-toll hearing

2012-11-14 10:31


Johannesburg - Public hearings on the e-tolling of Gauteng highways continue in Pretoria on Wednesday, despite a walkout at Tuesday night's hearing by angry motorists who claimed their voice is not heard.

The hearings are to give all affected parties an opportunity to share their views with the government about the proposed tolls.

Last month, the government and the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) announced new tariffs for e-tolling of Gauteng's freeways. The announcement, made on October 26, marked the beginning of a 30-day public consultation process.

After this, 14 days would be set aside for Transport Minister Ben Martins to "apply his mind", and another 14 days for the gazetting of the final tariffs, Sapa reported.

This would mean e-tolls could come into effect four days before Christmas.

Also in October, the transport department instructed Sanral to suspend all processes related to the tolling of national roads.

The suspension included the planned phase two of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Plan, the Cape Winelands and the Wild Coast.

"It is important to note that there's a clear distinction or separation between phase one [almost completed] and phase two [no work has started as yet]," transport spokesperson Tiyane Rikhotso told Sapa.

He said phase one was almost complete and that the department wanted to hear alternative views from the public on the best possible model of financing the debt incurred.

The suspension was welcomed by various organisations, including the SA Municipal Workers' Union, the Freedom Front Plus and AfriForum.

In August, Cabinet approved reduced toll tariffs for the N1 highway between Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Motorcyclists were expected to pay 24c a kilometre, light motor vehicles 40c, medium vehicles R1 and "longer" vehicles R2 a kilometre. Taxis and buses were exempted.

The Star newspaper reported on Wednesday that thousands of Gautengers had been sending the Department of Transport their submissions on why e-tolling should not go ahead.

This comes as the government started its first information session at a hotel in Kempton Park on Tuesday evening into the published e-toll tariffs.

Talk Radio 702 reported on Tuesday night that several people walked out in protest at the information session, saying they were angry that their voices would not count.

The first round of hearings related to tariffs and exemptions and not about the future of e-tolling itself.

The hearing is one of three being held in Gauteng and is part of a month-long process that delayed the rollout of the project.

The hearings were attended by fewer than 100 people.

The newspaper reported that about 2 500 people had already sent messages opposing the e-toll system.

Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance chairperson Wayne Duvenage told The Star that many people had copied the organisation the messages they are sending the government.

Many more people had sent their comments without copying the alliance, according to the report.

On Tuesday Cosatu called on all those affected by e-tolling in Gauteng to attend public meetings on the issue.

"A maximum of 130 persons can be accommodated per venue. Cosatu urges people to get there early and make sure they don't miss the chance to tell government and Sanral NO to e-tolls," said Congress of SA Trade Unions spokesperson Patrick Craven.

The government had already contributed R5.75bn to the project, or 25% of the total debt owed by Sanral.

Wednesday's public meeting would be held at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria at 18:00.

* Were you there? Send us a first-hand account of what happened and get published.



Comments
  • charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-11-14 10:43

    ANC robbery of our nation, at its best! How will we be able to stop this punitive system once it goes live? And how is the payment system going to work? Will the ANC expect to have access to my bank account??? Hell will freeze over first before I give this communist regime that kind of access!!!

      william.nettmann - 2012-11-14 11:16

      You will not have to provide anyone access to your bank account - least of all the ANC, who have absolutely nothing to do with e-tolls at all. You can top up your account, once registered, on a prepaid basis all under your own direct control. It is important that everyone has correct information on the topic, because if opposition to tolls is based on incorrect information, it can easily be overcome. Knowledge is power!

      marc.rule - 2012-11-14 11:19

      I Agree ill NOT give them any PVT information they CAN & WILL KISS my ASS. This is nothing but another way to take our money.

      djmain1 - 2012-11-14 11:23

      Or you can refuse to buy an e-tag and refuse to pay.

      JaredVN - 2012-11-14 11:23

      "How will we be able to stop this punitive system once it goes live?" Simple - vote for another political party. Except the majority won't do so, will they? In other words, the majority are saying they like Scamral, Nkandla, theft and corruption. People who are too dumb to vote for somebody else, truly deserve to be ripped off by their government.

      JaredVN - 2012-11-14 11:32

      @William.nettmann - lemme guess: Scamral or cANCer plant, eh? Nevertheless, how DARE you tell us that our opposition is based on "incorrect information"???? Is it "incorrect" that this is extra tax? Is it incorrect that e-Tolls are a costly and inefficient way of paying for roads? No, clearly not. Now p..ss off back to your hole, CADRE.

      guy.rice - 2012-11-14 12:04

      e-Tolling is not transparent and the public are unable to make any assessment of it whilst Sanral is not willing to make public the agreement with ETC. These talks are a sham! We close our petition on Thursday 15th for SANRAL to publically make available the contract with ETC. Make your opinion heard at : http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Freedom_of_access_to_information/

      heathway.master - 2012-11-14 12:27

      I wonder if the motorists of Gauteng realise the heavy burden that is being placed on their shoulders with regards to the introduction of e-tolling. They have a National duty to make this totally unfair additional method of taxation fail. They must never buy e-tags, and bin any accounts sent by SANRAL. This “TAX REVOLT” against further taxation will only work however, if the numbers of defaulters are large enough to cripple SANRALS administration procedures. As SANRAL becomes increasingly more desperate, so punitive legislations will be introduced to cower the motorist. Again, if all motorists show a firm solidarity, all such legal threats are completely unenforceable. If the Gauteng motorists weaken, shiver, and buckle at the knees, they will have failed the whole country. Kill e-tolling in Gauteng, and it will never be able to go National. The whole scheme stinks of corruption and obscene wealth gains for all involved players. The insane system does not deserve to work, and the motorist must retain a grim resolve to ensure it never does. The people of this country are being increasingly taxed out of existence. Let us stand together and clearly let the Government know that we have finally had enough. Let them put their house in order, and there will be more than enough tax money to satisfy the needs of the country.

      konstabel.koekemoer - 2012-11-14 12:48

      If we don't fight and stop e-tolling we will pay dearly for it. The fees may have been reduced but SANRAL will introduce huge increases every year to recoup their losses ... so we will see Eskom type increases! Most, if not all of the fees collected will be spent on paying for the expensive and complicated collection system. So tax money will still be used to repay the SANRAL debt incurred by upgrading the freeways. And if we accept this we will see e-tolling grow like cancer, all over the country. Tolling is the most expensive way of collecting funds for road infrastructure and should onlt be used where there is no alternatives.

      clive.wannenburg - 2012-11-14 13:52

      Just dont reg and see if they can cope with all the fall out and none payments? This is a stance i will not bend from and will fight against any bulling threats made to try enforce it!

      flysouth - 2012-11-14 15:50

      We will stop this if we as road users, en masse refuse to buy an e-tag and then refuse, or greatly delay payment against invoices.

  • sthembiso.jali.50 - 2012-11-14 10:45

    I don't understand the logic 2 these hearings. Its very clear. We don't need the e-tolls. Finish !

      virginia.barker.37 - 2012-11-14 10:55

      Eish, me thinks they should rather take the R1.4 billion intended for the upgrading of ministerial homes to settle e-toll debt. Everyone will be happy then!

      asdhasgd - 2012-11-14 11:27

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      saintbruce.bruce - 2012-11-14 12:41

      Understand that these hearings are not for anything other than a wonderful trick to be able to say eTolls may go ahead! They are only taking comments on what tarrifs to levy not to scrap it or review the system at all! By receiving comments they can justify some sort of tarrif saying they engaged with the public and came to a consclusion the public is OK with the concept of tolling URBAN roads then launch it on that "ägreed" basis! Are you going to fall for this scan approach??? Go to www.outa.co.za amd make a submission for ZERO tolls to the DTI. Using the fuel levy collection via SARS costs a few cents per R 1000 collected not the R 800 per R 1000 that SANRAL wants ( I estimate SANRAL will cost 80% of the fees collected as administrative and pay only 20% to service the debt so we pay forever and ever while SANRAL is guaranteed increases and FAT bonuses under ANC scam policies!) I actuall TRUST SARS more than I trust any State official - SANRAL is a Para Statal organisation with a nice monopoly. Fellow citizens - don't fall for this trick.

      saintbruce.bruce - 2012-11-14 12:43

      Sorry guys , I am so angry at SCAMRAL that I made typo's but you get the message?

      william.nettmann - 2012-11-14 14:17

      Bruce: "I estimate SANRAL will cost 80% of the fees collected as administrative and pay only 20% to service the debt". How did you arrive at those figures?

      flysouth - 2012-11-14 15:51

      @william.nettman I dunno why you bother to comment on something you know so little about!

  • theunis.smit.3 - 2012-11-14 10:47

    The problem with tolling is once they start they never take it away again and this is on excisting roads.

      steve.ritchie.739 - 2012-11-14 12:40

      And they will increase tariffs with patriotic fervor. A tax boycott (of the taxes that are boycottable) is what is needed to limit the thieving cANCer's spending.

  • abdulbaith.sayegh - 2012-11-14 10:49

    Walkout Mars first e-toll hearing?

      paul.kershaw.18 - 2012-11-14 11:36

      There is nothing wrong with this headline. You have added a capital M to the word mars in order to sensationalise it. The only thing incorrect wiht it is your personal interpretation to suit your need for comment from the readers of this blog.

      flysouth - 2012-11-14 15:52

      Don't understand English? - what are you doing here?

  • adrian.snyman.16 - 2012-11-14 10:52

    Once again, the statement: "The government had already contributed R5.75bn to the project, or 25% of the total debt owed by Sanral." is incorrect. These are funds generated from taxation - so WE have already contributed 25%

      werner.nel.712 - 2012-11-14 11:03

      Everybody misses this point.....

      william.nettmann - 2012-11-14 11:27

      That is totally correct - the roads have been improved, and we have to pay for it, whether it is a fuel levy, more income tax or a toll. No difference, we have to pay, unless we are satisfied with dirt tracks. Everybody misses this point, I agree with Werner. Personally, I am in favour of the "user pays" principle, so I support the idea of tolls to pay for road building, improvement and maintenance. I support e-tolls rather than toll plazas where I have to stop and queue to pay manually, because they are cheaper to run and less inconvenient.

      brian.connell.18 - 2012-11-14 11:49

      And if we have already contributed, why do we have to pay again? As to the state of the roads - NO THEY HAVE NOT BEEN FIXED. So why so much debt? Overseas trips, new houses, new cars, an airplane or two - Welcome to Africa.

      anakin.skyvader.9 - 2012-11-14 11:59

      @william.nettmann : What happened to the fuel levy? And why are the SANRAL documents blacked out? When can we see a full disclosure of documents?

      J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-11-14 12:37

      William, it seems few readers understood your contribution. Three do.

      konstabel.koekemoer - 2012-11-14 12:52

      @William ... you are totally missing the point, e-Tolling is an extremely expensive way of collecting funds. So you will pay double.

      flysouth - 2012-11-14 15:45

      @william.nettman Where the phukc have you been? Not listening? Too stupid to understand?

  • gary.bloom.967 - 2012-11-14 10:53

    Nothing new here except the first paragraph and the grammar in that is non existent as well.

  • gary.desousa.7 - 2012-11-14 10:57

    Fuel levy on national basis or nothing. Mass disobedeance and cancel these private partnerships when only certain people get rich,we pay for all their staff at sanril let them man the gantries and bring cost down ,we already pay for sanral,deliberatly repeated.

      gina.gentle.5 - 2012-11-14 11:15

      Please explain how a general fuel levy will be fair to motorist from rural areas who mainly drive on largely unmaintained dirt 'roads' and farmers who use about 70% of their fuel expenses for plowing, planting etc?

      djmain1 - 2012-11-14 11:27

      Ok - let me explain it to you. Since most money in SA is generated in Gauteng, this means most taxation comes from Gauteng. So the Gautengers are paying for the maintenance of these rural roads even though they will probably never use them. I guarantee that if the taxes from the rural area you speak of were ring-fenced only for that specific area, it wouldn't be enough to maintain the roads. That can't be fair either.

      william.nettmann - 2012-11-14 11:31

      Personally, I am in favour of the "user pays" principle, so I support the idea of tolls to pay for road building, improvement and maintenance. If you apply your mind to other services, e.g. electricity, how happy would you be to pay additional income tax and get "free" electricity? Hang on, maybe your neighbour uses more than you do, and as a consequence you end up subsidising his usage. Same for telephones, water, etc. I support e-tolls rather than toll plazas where I have to stop and queue to pay manually, because they are cheaper to run and less inconvenient.

      gina.gentle.5 - 2012-11-14 11:51

      DerekMain: I live in a small town in Limpopo, where potholes are filled with cement and graders are rented for dirt roads by the people who use them, so rest assured, your tax money is not being spent for the maintenance of roads in our area. And I can not even remember the last time I used the N1 past Pretoria and Joburg. If I am willing to alternative roads in order to avoid paying toll fees, how can it be fair that I should still be expected to pay for those toll roads. It should be a matter of choice.

      steve.gibson.146612 - 2012-11-14 12:35

      @William You miss the point, If the petrol price were taxed then you would "user pay" for as much as you use the roads etc. Electricity is already based on this principle. If you use more than your neighbour you pay more. It is not based on the income tax principle.

      konstabel.koekemoer - 2012-11-14 12:54

      William obviously works for SANRAL or Kapsch or another entity benefitting from e-tolling!

  • Eterni80 - 2012-11-14 11:09

    the ANC are flogging a dead horse here, it is obvious to all save these morons that we are not going to get tagged and then have our bank accounts emptied by the same people who have stolen in excess of half a trillion rand since 'coming' to power. if king p3nis can get a billion rand upgrade of his compound/palace on our dime then I'll be damned if I'm cough for toll fees hey JZ/ANC F U.

  • john.dough.5836711 - 2012-11-14 11:10

    "Apply his mind"? None of them can think further than their own pockets. They can get lost as I refuse to register or pay one single cent.

      paul.kershaw.18 - 2012-11-14 11:38

      I did enjoy the comment of "apply his mind" too. A paradox indeed.

  • strikeback.strikeback - 2012-11-14 11:11

    "ANC calls for boycott of SA wines" This News24 heading contains some ideas on how to treat the e-tolling. It must be legal and appropriate if suggested by a representative of the ruling party. Strikeback is a-political, but needs to highlight a good idea on e-tolling when we see one! www.strikeback.co.za

  • johan.uys.75 - 2012-11-14 11:11

    Minister to "apply his mind"???

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-11-14 11:16

    It is not the government that has sponsored 'scamralls' debt it is the tax payer who has. This government is riddled with hoodlum cronies and scammers who are fleecing the South African nation. Out with the ANC.

  • John - 2012-11-14 11:23

    The government owns NOTHING!! They adminiter OUR national resources! They BORROW money from the S A RESERVE BANK, a privately owned CORPORATION with US the people bonded to repay these LOANS! Thus the government pays for NOTHING! We the people of the NATION do the paying!

  • andtowns - 2012-11-14 11:26

    "Apply his mind", faaark you've gotta love that. Rather apply something that doesnt exist. FOOL!

      terrylee.heuer - 2012-11-14 11:44

      That saying is tooo funny lol!!! Got to remember its usually switched off!!

  • asdhasgd - 2012-11-14 11:26

    These idiots dont want eTolls but are for nationalisation? can someone explain this to me?

  • apgreeff - 2012-11-14 11:31

    Oh, so it is easier to ask forgiveness than beg for approval (not that the government will ask forgiveness!) Why consult now that the commitment was made and the debt created? Was the commitment given because there existed opportunities for government officials and their cronies/tenderpreneurs in the construction and afterwards? Most probably. Now the motorists and tax payers need to find a way out. What shambles! These expenses incurred will ultimately be the expense of the taxpayer and/or the motorist. Why was the project not discussed upfront before the expenses were incurred? Cannot trust the government, their deployed cadres or their motives and strategies. It should be a BIG NO NO! Cape Winelands? KZN? Learn from this and stop the rot before it vests on your roads too....

  • ron.rielander - 2012-11-14 11:38

    DO NOT REGISTER FOR ETOLLS

  • John - 2012-11-14 11:38

    Just bus in 150 SANRAL thugs to support e tolling and e tolling will go ahead! Do not CONTRACT with this thug CORPORATION. They have to have your signature to validate the CONTRACT! Make them INVOICE you for something you have NOT agreed to, then simply do not pay what for that which you have NOT requested! They know bloody well that this is ENFORCED contracting! , which is ILLEGAL!

  • Sharon - 2012-11-14 11:42

    What pisses me off most about this whole thing, is that taxis are exempt!!!!! Why are they special? They kill and injure thousands of people every day the the Road Accident Fund is empty, thanks to them.

      kent.paulsen.79 - 2012-11-14 18:52

      The taxis are exempt otherwise this e-toll would not work, the goverment does not want the taxis to protest.

  • john.schonfeldt - 2012-11-14 11:50

    You we wouldn't feel so ripped off if we didn't hear story in the news about overspending in all areas vehicles , houses ,"business" trips and mass corruption in our government that the tax payer pay for and maybe it is legitimate to pay for this service that we all can use, not just the select few . To me it is almost like the story of Crying wolf, now that money is really needed no one believes Government.

  • TshilidziPhuravhathu - 2012-11-14 11:53

    I comend the aparthate regeme for building toll roads "which were free" for all to use...

  • anakin.skyvader.9 - 2012-11-14 12:03

    SANRAL still doesn't get the message: they think it's "just a few" motorists complaining. Ok wait to the end of the 2nd month from the start date and they will drown in their own paperwork - because people refused to buy e-tags. Only when their IT system 'burps' to a halt will they listen, by which time more $$$$ (around end Feb.2013) will have to be written off which could instead have been generated from a fuel-levy (which is infinitely easier to administer and control). And I expect my e-toll bills to me sent by registered post since the post-office is extremely unreliable with ordinary mail. And I will NOT pay the e-toll bills either, it's about sending a strong message to SANRAL and the govt. that I refuse to support corruption and secret deals.

  • guy.rice - 2012-11-14 12:07

    e-Tolling is not transparent and the public are unable to make any assessment of it whilst Sanral is not willing to make public the agreement with ETC. These talks are a sham! We close our petition on Thursday 15th for SANRAL to publically make available the contract with ETC. Make your opinion heard at : http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Freedom_of_access_to_information/

      flysouth - 2012-11-14 15:56

      I signed the petition - did everybody here?

  • gail.mcquillan.7 - 2012-11-14 12:13

    My question is ... did they ever consult us before they went and spent our money? Why were we not informed before any "improvements" took place? They take my tax they can pay for the damn road!

  • chez.dros - 2012-11-14 12:20

    Simple. Boycott e-tolling. Stand strong and stick together Jozi.

  • chez.dros - 2012-11-14 12:22

    Simple. Boycott e-tolling. Stand strong and stick together Jozi.

  • braamc - 2012-11-14 12:54

    Let us burn the camera's

      steve.gibson.146612 - 2012-11-14 14:23

      Whilst I basically disagree with any form of violence, It would appear that the only way Government takes notice of any objection in this country is when the population resorts to violence.

      flysouth - 2012-11-14 15:46

      Give it time, my friend - give it time!

  • nadineelvina.francis - 2012-11-14 12:59

    @william Netman - how much more should the working class fork out ? We all did not grow up with a silver spoon in our mouths.- but we pay for our own houses, but we pay for private security - private healthcare- private school fees- private transport PLUS- we pay our TAXES , VAT , and fuel levies , license fees etc the list is endless . Enough is enough. Sanral has the Support of GOVT and we therefore see them as being a govt tool to enrich the coffers of the ANC. We want SANRAL to publish the documents concerning the tenders and why the roads cost so much-.The collection of fees by e tolling is costly as it costs SANRAL more to collect the fees than to actually build the roads. I rarely travel on e tolled roads but i wont sell out my fellow citizens on this issue.

  • marius.vanwyk.5621 - 2012-11-14 13:03

    They weren’t there to listen to the people. They were there to ANGER them and treat them like children and tap themselves on the back for making an effort.

  • mart.botha - 2012-11-14 13:19

    Just say NO ! YOU CANNOT DO IT !

  • eben.engelbrecht.14 - 2012-11-14 14:48

    In my opinion, if they do introduce the toll system on Gauteng roads, then I would expect the fuel price to decrease drastically (3-4 rand a litre)to first of all show some compromise as well as to stop the average house hold to incur these extra charges of the toll. The reason behind my thinking is that after the debt is paid, this toll money is used to maintain and develop the roads in Gauteng, but yet we already pay a levy of that in our fuel price. We cant pay the same "tax / levy" twice, just under a different name.

  • tiresias.watiresias - 2012-11-14 15:20

    It is a joke. If they want to show that this is not robbery, then make a rule that NO politician or public servant would be exempt from paying the tolls, and will pay it personally, out of after-tax salary.

  • donovan.mckeet - 2012-11-14 15:27

    it just show you,that the people who created this mess has no clue,of what the value of money is.

  • Bruce - 2012-11-14 15:32

    Nxa! What a bunch of whining cry babies, you jozi lot are? Look here its simple if you are going to use these roads shut up and pay up, if not shut up and use alternative routes..ruri la nyela, you want government to bow to you? Stop being spoilt brats and do as our beloved anc commands, they know best.

      donovan.mckeet - 2012-11-14 15:39

      atleast bruce lee step in, he can help

      kent.paulsen.79 - 2012-11-14 19:00

      "they know best." Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha and more Ha's

  • hettie.hansen.3 - 2012-11-14 15:35

    So let just the taxis and buses use the toll roads because they are exempt and it wont cost us a cent but we will have to use substandard roads while my petrol money pays for taxis and buses but I dont know what else we can do except maybe BURN THE ROADS AND BLOCK THEM LIKE MY ANC COUNTERPARTS DO ..LOL.

  • flysouth - 2012-11-14 15:43

    There will be many more people at the last two meetings - and it could get ugly. In fact I am hoping so!

  • oosthuizenlouis - 2012-11-14 16:28

    Lets view this in a differant light. Sanral(Government) needs money to maintain the roads. That is a given fact. No across all government departments it is estimated that R1-Billion was lost due to corrupt officials. Now if we could stop this from happening this is R1-Billion that can be put back into maintaining the roads, Right??? Let government cleanup house first then come and tell us they need more money from us. Why is Taxis and busses exempted? my work requires me to travel at a moments notice and I cant sit and wait for a taxi or a bus to get me where I need to go.

  • alan.muir.18 - 2012-11-14 17:42

    No to etoll. The government contributed nothing, the tax payers did

  • jacqui.grigg - 2012-11-14 19:21

    I am not liking this one bit, but this is inevitable. The government has invested money from their pensions into this project and one way or another, like all investments, it has to pay off. So come hell or highwater, e-tolls will be forced into place....

      flysouth - 2012-11-14 21:55

      The government has invested no money from their pensions - that is from cabinet member's pensions for example. What they have done is raided the pension funds of government workers - that is a huge difference! Remember government - ours and all other countries - has no money - NOT A SINGLE CENT - to call their own, it ALL comes from the taxpayer.

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