By Kaya 959 News
The IFP has added its voice to growing calls for the e-tolling system on Gauteng freeways to be scrapped.
“From the beginning, we warned that this system would add a needless and disproportionate taxation expense to the already financially strained citizens and businesses in the province,” IFP provincial chairperson in Gauteng, Bonginkosi Dhlamini, said.
He said the system was and remains unfeasible and irrational.
Dhlamini said communities were already under financial strain due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Yet we must still contend with the issue of whether to scrap the e-tolls or not. It is as though the citizens of this province signed up for the e-tolling system in the first place,” he said.
Dhlamini said ever since the motion of e-tolls was presented before Parliament for debate, it has been opposed.
Motorists don’t want to pay
He said Gauteng motorists’ opposition towards paying for the e-tolling system is palpable.
Dhlamini said this is evidenced by the fact that the system administrator, South African National Roads Agency Ltd (SANRAL), itself admits that less than 20% of Gauteng’s motorists are compliant with the payment of e-tolls.
“Last year SANRAL recorded a R14 billion revenue loss, and an estimated R9.8 billion of that was due to non-payment of e-tolls, meaning that Gauteng motorists are liable,” Dhlamini said.
He added that in its current form, the system needed to be scrapped.
On Tuesday, the DA’s Solly Masinga introduced a motion seeking to scrap the system, deeming it a failed financial model.
However, he failed in his endeavours.
In his speech, Masinga slammed the ANC-led government for using issues around e-tolls as a mechanism for getting votes.
“Not only do we have a system in place, we do not know what will happen going forward,” he said.
EFF calls for e-tolls to be scrapped.
The EFF said the ruling party has, on many occasions, promised to do away with e-tolls.
“But conflicting messages speak volumes on the future of e-tolls in the province. It is too much to ask from Gauteng Premier David Makura? This poor man is powerless because he does not have the ability to deal with e-tolls,” the EFF said.
The party accused Makura of grandstanding, saying he has no justification on the matter.
“He is always playing to the gallery,” the party said.
SANRAL threatens to fine motorists
Meanwhile, SANRAL has threatened to fine motorists and block their vehicle license disc renewals over unpaid e-toll fees.
SANRAL said they are planning on implementing the new legal framework to ensure that they get paid.
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has lodged court papers and are going through the motion of responding to papers from the Department of Transport.
Outstanding e-toll bills, under the current regulations are not an infringement and car licenses cannot be withheld. Civil and legal organisations believe the idea is merely a pipe-dream.
“SANRAL’s e-toll system has too many legal flaws to become a reality,” they said.