2 months ago
'END OF THE ROAD' FOR E-TOLLS!
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THE MAJORITY of Gauteng motorists have been refusing to pay for the Gauteng e-tolls since the beginning.

And now it seems Sanral is running out of energy to chase after motorists who have chosen to boycott the e-tolls.

The Citizen reports that an exhausted Sanral is admitting it has all but lost the revenue battle, with just a third of the money owed being paid by motorists.

 It believes government needs to come up with an acceptable roads funding mechanism.

They will even accept a fuel levy, something they have always vigorously opposed. All they want to do is have enough money to build and maintain roads, the publication reported.

 The publication quoted Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) manager Alex van Niekerk saying the e-toll situation was “not in a favourable state at the moment”.

 He added Sanral required “clear direction in funding policies”.

 “Whatever government indicates to Sanral on which funding model should be used, it will be implemented,” he said.

 With the experience of nonpayment as a background, Van Niekerk admitted that “fiscus funding” from government would be “the best situation” for Sanral, but this wasn’t viable.

 “National Treasury was also very clear in the lead-up to this project that they don’t have the funds.

 “They have sufficient money to maintain it. We will always be able to maintain it, but in terms of implementing these massive projects we need huge capital upfront.

 “The other option is to do nothing. We will keep on maintaining what is there and the congestion will build up. We are not an agency. We are an SOE [state-owned entity] level 3, so we are not making any profit.

 “For us, it’s not about the tolling. It’s about being able to generate the revenue to enable us to build mega projects which will enable economic growth.”

 The publication also quoted Sanral spokesperson Vusi Mona saying the organisation was tired of being berated.

 “Sanral is an engineering outfit and not the custodian of public funding. The government, Treasury and citizens must agree that if we want this infrastructure, how will we pay for it? That shouldn’t be a discussion for engineers. We are not on a tolling crusade. If our citizens can give us a pot of money to build without tolling, we will welcome that. ”

 According the the publication Mona said that he would “love to see, for instance, the implementation of a fuel levy”.

 “But please explain how you are going to get all the other provinces to agree they are going to pay for roads in Gauteng?”

 “Sanral is an engineering outfit and not the custodian of public funding. The government, Treasury and citizens must agree that if we want this infrastructure, how will we pay for it? That shouldn’t be a discussion for engineers. We are not on a tolling crusade. If our citizens can give us a pot of money to build without tolling, we will welcome that. ”

 Mona said that he would “love to see, for instance, the implementation of a fuel levy”.

 “But please explain how you are going to get all the other provinces to agree they are going to pay for roads in Gauteng?”

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