A while ago I voiced my disgust about the proposed Gauteng E-Tolling System (which comes into effect end of April 2012). Most Gauteng residents are opposed to this system, but government is pushing ahead with it, despite heavy criticism and calls to call off the whole project. Over 200,000 road users have registered for E-tags in Gauteng (only one quarter of the vehicles in Gauteng).
There are a total of more than 800,000 road users in the whole of Gauteng daily. Over 400,000 cars a day travel on the highway systems between Pretoria and Johannesburg daily alone. If you ask me the Government and SANRAL is blatantly trying to rape road users in Gauteng by charging them 30c per kilometre (with an E-tag) and R1.75 per km (without an E-Tag). All of us pay taxes for crying out loud. Those taxes are supposed to pay for road improvements, not this proposed E-tolling system.
SANRAL has been threating road users with prosecution if they don’t fit E-tags. Who the fuck do they think they are? The people of Gauteng simply cannot afford this. Think about the cost of living in Gauteng already. For a decent sized 1 bedroom flat or Townhouse you already pay anything R3500 and R5000 p/m. Someone using the highways daily between Pretoria and Johannesburg is already paying R2000 – R2500 p/m for petrol alone (and probably more due to the more fuel price increases coming in the future). Now they’ll have to dock up another R550 p/m for using highways which are going to be tolled illegally and unconstitutionally and which have always been public property. All the companies who have vehicles transporting goods in Gauteng are going to pay through their noses on tolls and this will in turn cause the prices on everyday goods to shoot through the roof.
Government clearly isn’t thinking about the possible economic impact this absolutely ridiculous E-tolling system will have on Gauteng (and its surrounding provinces). A News24 user (Tinkertank) published this article on News24 on the 28th of March. It basically lays out the basic facts why this system is illegal and why citizens of Gauteng should take a stand against it!
“SANRAL’S E-tag system is in fact totally illegal. As it is completely in contravention of the National Credit Act. This act clearly stipulates that no citizen is allowed to take on extra credit, until his entire financial situation is first fully assessed to see if he is capable of taking on the extra credit. He is not allowed to be granted a house bond, car finance , furniture, flat screen television, furniture HP , clothes HP etc, until proved to be sufficiently financially solvent to take on extra debt as stipulated by law, under the National Credit Act.
SANRAL illegally wants you to give them personal credit card or bank account details etc, for them to place an irrevocable debit order on your account. R550 in case of e-tag holders, and what I believe is an uncapped sum, if you do not have an e-tag. I.e. The motorist could run up R1200 in toll fees, and still have to pay, under threat of a massive fine, or now, as the Government has got so desperate and criminalized non payment of e-tolls, possibly even a jail sentence. The Government is so desperate because it has already signed contracts with Austria, various service and maintenance contractors, as well as the completely bloated administration staff to run the whole monstrosity of a system.
Take note that the 40c in the Rand will go towards administrating this criminality of a system. This 40c in the Rand should be going back into road infrastructure, not off to massive profits accrued to some Austrian profiteers. Further, the magnificent and efficient ring road system encircling all major suburbs, was built and financed by the previous Government, not SANRAL. These ring roads have been in existence for about 35 years, now the Government has the absolute audacity, because it only added on an extra lane, to ban all motorists from using this road network, if they are not registered with SANRAL. As I have mentioned in previous articles, the fuel levy will generate 67 billion Rands a year for the Government. They have only allowed in their 2012 budget, 25 million for the construction of new roads, as well as the maintenance of the countries road infrastructure. Surely 67 billion in fuel levies, will easily cover these budgeted costs. The Government has told tax payers that the fuel levy has already been allocated to other projects requiring urgent finance. Who cares a damn for this lame excuse. The previous Government brought in the fuel levy, solely to finance the countries road infrastructure. The income was completely satisfactory for the country to then build the finest road network in the whole of Africa.
I suspect that the Government has so badly depleted the national tax income through endemic corruption, tenderneurship, unbelievable Government excesses on Government ministers as well as other managers of every ilk, plus financing zero performing Municipalities. It has now become very nervous that the country’s service delivery protests will influence the vote count at the next general elections. It now desperately needs extra cash, to service the people it has totally ignored for the past 18 years. So there we have it folks, totally ignore ever buying e-tags, and never ever pay any toll invoices sent by SANRAL. With 10 million individual toll defaults, what can the Government possibly do, to bring in the billions it so greedily sees on the horizon.
Also they cannot withhold yearly car licenses, as this is also illegal. South African citizens, let’s bring the Government and SANRAL to its knees over this toll road issue. It was so greedy to get this enormous extra annual income that it failed to properly think the whole criminal monstrosity through in a practical and logical way. To add insult to injury, the only reason it embarked on the freeway upgrade project, was to impress oversees visitors to the World Cup, just what a first world country South Africa was. Now that it extended itself financially, it has brutally and vengefully turned on the completely over taxed citizen, to supply extra finance.
Also remember that SA citizens probably get the least back for exorbitant taxes, than most civilized countries in the world. For our taxes we have got roads full of potholes and falling apart, a hospital system that is virtually on the brink of collapse, an education system that has now been said to be far worse than that offered by the previous Government, State Services that barely operate, and Municipalities that consume all its rate payers’ funds on salaries only, with no money left to do what a Municipality was actually set up for.
The Government Departments are also completely bloated and bursting at the seems, having satisfied Zuma’s more jobs strategy, by adding more parasites to a Government System that only consumes wealth and produces no financial income whatsoever. I hope the Freedom Fronts planned protest for 7 AM Thursday, brings all the to be tolled, highways to a standstill. This should cost the productive sectors of the community plenty in lost production with motorists not being able to get to their precious places of employment on time .
PROTEST, PROTEST,PROTEST SA citizens, to collapse the toll road system before it is allowed to ever become established. If we do not achieve this, then the system will rapidly spread throughout the country, bankrupting the ever financially strapped, and over taxed population.”
I’m not a motorist in Gauteng yet, but I’ll be one later in 2012. I hope Government and SANRAL have had their head’s examined properly and the system is gone when I finally start driving this year, seriously. I’m not looking forward to cough up a part of my salary for this bullshit.
What do you think of the E-tolling system? Drop me a comment on this post and let me know. Feedback is appreciated and welcome on Running Wolf’s Rant. Watch this space for regular updates in the Opinion Category.