Sanral under fire
FORMER director-general of the Gauteng department of public transport roads and works, Sbusiso Buthelezi, has accused SA National Roads Agency Limited of disregarding initial implementation plans on the e-tolling project.
Buthelezi, who was part of the team that came up with the project, said it was apparent that the Gauteng government, municipalities and national Department of Transport have several disagreements as to how the scheme should be operated and Sanral failed to address the concerns.
He said Sanral reneged on an earlier agreement of providing the public with safe public transport, park-and-ride facilities and the construction of new roads such as the PWV9, PWV5, PWV15 and R80.
This, according to Buthelezi, was supposed to have been implemented before the e-tolling system became operational.
Buthelezi came out following accusations by the South African Communist Party that past and present ANC leaders in Gauteng in the provincial government be investigated.
The party fell short of accusing them of receiving bribes and being silent partners in companies that stand to benefit from the system.
He said the project was controlled at cabinet level from the beginning and Sanral oversaw the implementation process.
"The project belongs to Sanral and the agency is not an organ of the provincial government," he said.
"I have no problem with calls for an investigation but insinuations that officials or politicians at the provincial government benefited must be rejected with the contempt they deserve," Buthelezi said.
He said it was a public knowledge that white engineering companies and BEE companies were the beneficiaries of the e-tolls.
"The involvement of all spheres of government was intended to make sure that one sphere of government does not implement parts of the plan in an isolated, ad hoc fashion that might have a negative effect on other spheres of government," he said.
The e-tolling was to have started on Monday on 185km of highway in Johannesburg and Tshwane, but the ANC and Cosatu requested that the process be postponed until the end of May.
The Pretoria High Court also granted an urgent interdict, brought by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance, to stop the e-tolling system so that a full court review could be carried out to determine whether it should be scrapped.