Guest Column

E-tolls: ANC holds road users hostage

2015-05-20 18:31
Picture: Trevor Kunene/Daily Sun

Picture: Trevor Kunene/Daily Sun

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

By Muhammad Noormahomed, City Press

What was the ANC thinking when it decided to review e-tolls, only to shove a different but still unpalatable version of the system down Gautengers throats?

After suffering a scare in the 2014 general elections, the Gauteng government thought it would regain voters’ confidence by reviewing the system.

This is why the announcement of reduced tariffs by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is baffling.

The ANC is shooting itself in the foot; scoring an own goal. If Gautengers were angry before, surely they will be livid after Ramaphosa and Gauteng Premier David Makhura tried to sell the changes as proof that we have a “caring, responsible and responsive government”.

Perhaps they thought using the stick-carrot method to get road users to pay would work, but there was a lot more stick than carrot.

On the positive side:

1) The tariff for light vehicles has been reduced from 58c/km to 30c/km

2) The monthly cap has been reduced to R225 a month from the current R450 a month.

3) There will be no charge for users who pass gantries fewer than 30 times a year.


The two major sticky points:

1) The slate hasn’t been wiped clean for those who, until now, have not paid their e-tolls account. Instead they will get a 60% discount to settle their debt dating back to December 2013.

2) Licence disc renewals will be linked to the payment of e-tolls. Either pay for e-tolls or you won’t be able to renew your licence disc.

By effectively holding Gautengers hostage, what chance does the government really have of getting them onboard the e-tolls train?

They are more likely to dig in their heels and fight this.

Like Wayne Duvenage from the Opposition To Urban Tolling Alliance said: “Cars will be driven without licences and people will licence vehicles in other provinces.”

This would create a new market for fraudulent vehicle licences, he said.

It would be interesting to see if a court challenge arises to determine the constitutionality of making licence disc renewals contingent on settling your e-toll account.

But how will the “new” e-toll system affect the ANC?

According to Makhura, the changes have nothing to do with next year’s local government elections.

That the ANC is afraid of losing votes in Gauteng is not even debatable. But by raising the hopes of Gauteng residents only to dish out these insulting changes, does Makhura honestly think he has done his party any favours?

Of course, the DA was quick to use the e-tolls issue to lure voters. The party's Jack Bloom tweeted:

Expect other opposition parties to use this thorny issue to garner more votes as well.

And the ANC will have nobody but itself to blame for thinking of voters as fools.

As axed Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi put it in a tweet following the announcement:

Read more on:    david makhura  |  e-tolls  |  anc
X
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
11 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.