Sanral knew e-tolls were opposed: DA

By Drum Digital
02 September 2013

The South African Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) already knew in 2009 that people opposed the e-tolling project, the DA said on Monday.

"Sanral knew as early as 2009 that they are facing widespread opposition against e-tolling on Gauteng freeways," Democratic Alliance spokesman Mmusi Maimane said.

This was according to documents of the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) company and Sanral, which were received by DA MP Ian Ollis.

"Sanral's April 2009 documentation indicates that 61 percent of people were willing to pay a toll fee and that 39 percent would not be willing to pay toll fees," Maimane said.

"However, in an addendum, as part of the contract information, in June 2009, the results are amended indicating that 48 percent of people would not be willing to pay for e-tolls."

Maimane said both Sanral and the ETC knew that high levels of public compliance was a critical success factor for the project.

A section titled "Road users segmentation" in the ETC document states: "Should such a sizeable group actively resist compliance, law enforcement will be serious[ly] hampered and [it] could become virtually impossible to implement. Sizeable active resistance could jeopardise the project as a whole".

Maimane said despite its own research Sanral continued to force the e-toll system with the backing of the transport department.

"I cannot stand by and allow this to go unanswered," he said.

Maimane was speaking in Tembisa, east of Johannesburg, where he and Ollis were conducting a walk-about to see how the implementation of e-tolls would affect small business owners in the area.

-Sapa

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