Gauteng premier David
Makhura has been criticized for ‘empty promises’ to scrap e-tolls.
On Monday, Makhura reiterated his stance on the controversial system, he said e-tolls would be tackled head-on.
He however said concerns have been raised about where the money will come from to pay roads agency Sanral for the infrastructure upgrades.
“The problems the Premier has outlined have been with us for years.
"OUTA wants to see solutions being implemented, not the subject of yet more plans,” OUTA said.
“Gauteng municipalities have underspent on repairs and maintenance by about R65bn over the past ten years, with devastating impact on municipal infrastructure and leaving this work increasingly unaffordable.
“However, we have seen exorbitant increases in remuneration costs over the same period,” OUTA’s Local Government Operations Executive Julius Kleynhans said.
OUTA says Makhura’s call to national Government to scrap e-tolls appears to have no influence on ending this failed scheme.
“We need to hear the Premier place Government under more pressure in this regard,” OUTA’s CEO Wayne Duvenage said.
“The Premier’s call is a repeat of the same comments made for the past few years now, yet the scheme limps on and forces unnecessary costs onto the 20% of motorists who continue to pay under duress,” Duvenage said.
Duvenage added that the authorities abandoned their litigation approach after a temporary board decision by Sanral in March to suspend the process of pursuing e-toll debt.
This announcement, together with the Credit Bureau Association of South Africa’s confirmation that judgments on e-toll debts may not be used to black-list consumers, saw a further drop off in e-toll compliance.