Etolls: 'Putting lipstick on a pig'

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a new hybrid model for e-tolls that cuts the price of travel.

He said that fees would be capped at 30c a kilometre.

In rand terms‚ the monthly cap for light motor vehicles will be reduced from R450 to R225.

He also announced that e-toll fees will be linked to licence renewals — so that motorists cannot get their car discs unless they’ve paid their e-toll bills.

Wayne Duvenage‚ formerly of the Opposition To Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) which fought the civil campaign against the e-toll system‚ reacted with disdain.

“New e-Toll dispensation is tantamount to putting lipstick on a pig. People will not be seduced or coerced. Scheme still grossly irrational‚” he tweeted.

Robert Marawa? @robertmarawa also took to twitter to say: “Ridiculous. U renovate a house without consulting the owner then demand payment!! Life must really be good“‚ while Deep Fried Man? @DeepFriedMan commented “I think it’s really great how the ANC and SANRAL doing their bit to reduce carbon emissions by making owning a car unaffordable”.

Ramaphosa was responding to a report from the Gauteng government‚ which found that the toll was unaffordable.

The announcement follows a rapid decline in the number of people registering for e-tags. The number declined from 27‚000 in January to 20‚000 in April‚ way below the number needed to make the programme financially sustainable.

According to figures released by transport minister Dipuo Peters yesterday‚ 356‚766 e-tags were registered in December 2013. That figure now stands at 20‚104 for April this year.

The SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) faces a funding crunch after making several unsuccessful attempts to raise money on the capital markets.

Peters revealed that monthly expenditure for Sanral stood at R66 million‚ with the bulk of the costs going to toll operations and maintenance at R47 million.

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