E-tolls to stay, state must act on civil disobedience - Peters | Fin24
 
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E-tolls to stay, state must act on civil disobedience - Peters

Nov 22 2016 09:01
Matthew le Cordeur

Cape Town – Government needs to address the “civil disobedience and allow law enforcement agencies to play their part” regarding Gauteng’s e-toll system, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said in a written reply to a Parliamentary question on Monday.

Economic Freedom Fighters MP Thilivhali Mulaudzi asked: “... in light of the unsuccessful implementation of the e-tolling of freeways in the Gauteng Province, what measures is she putting in place to ensure that the government cancels e-tolling and seeks other means to fund the cost?”

In her reply, Peters said “there is no decision to cancel e-tolling, which is part of the user pay policy”.

“It must be noted that the department will continue implementing the current policy, the user pay, which is also a norm in the whole world,” she said.

“It is not true that the e-tolling of the GFIP (Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project) is unsuccessful in its implementation, we need to address the issue of civil disobedience and allow law enforcement agencies to play their part.”

In October, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) criticised Peters, the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) board and the auditor general over the state road agency’s annual report for 2016.

“None… have provided any real thought or insight to the future of the e-tolling scheme, other than to continue relying on borrowings which are backed government guarantees,” said Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage.

Sanral’s 2016 financial statements show an increase in trade receivables from R1.15bn in 2014 to R4.96bn in 2015 and R7.66bn in 2016.

“Sanral clearly continues to count unpaid e-tolls as an asset on its balance sheet, when all indications point to virtually no hope of recovering this money,” he said.

“This strategy merely continues to dig a deeper hole for Sanral, as opposed to finding long-term resolution for this once strong and economically sound state-owned entity.

“It is clear that the unpopular e-toll scheme and the boycott thereof has hit Sanral’s bottom line harder than expected and their higher cost of borrowing has increased their finance costs to unbearable levels.”

Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter:

outa  |  sanral  |  dipuo peters  |  sa economy  |  tolls
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