News24

Toll road fat cats

2011-02-20 17:41

Johannesburg - Eighty-five cents out of every R1 profit made from constructing and operating Gauteng’s controversial open road tolling system could land up in the pockets of an Austrian traffic conglomerate.

City Press can reveal:

» Kapsch TrafficCom, the Vienna-based company, effectively owns 85% of Electronic Toll Collections (ETC), a local joint venture company that was awarded the R6.2bn tender to design, build and operate Gauteng’s new e-tolling system; and

» The black economic empowerment (BEE) stake in the project diminished by more than 50% after the tender was awarded to ETC.

This comes after a week of public outrage over plans to charge 66c/km for motorists travelling on the 185km-long e-toll network.

The ANC is torn on the issue, with the party’s Gauteng leadership throwing down the gauntlet after emergency meetings last week.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane told City Press she would meet Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele on Tuesday to present other options, while ANC provincial secretary David Makhura has asked ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe for a meeting.

In an interview with City Press, Makhura lashed out at those who suggested Gauteng’s working population should use alternative transport if they didn’t want to pay for toll roads [as suggested by Ndebele].

“People who say there is an alternative don’t understand Gauteng,” Makhura said.

More questions than answers


South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) chief executive Nazir Alli tried to quell fears about the cost of the project at a news conference last week, but his presentation left more questions than answers.

» According to Alli, Sanral awarded the R6.2bn e-tolling tender to the ETC joint venture, led by Kapsch, but with a 35% local ownership.

However, a City Press investigation found that the shareholding of local BEE firm TMT Services and Supplies ­diminished to 15% after Kapsch bought 20% of TMT’s shares in April last year for about R70m – seven months after the ­tender was awarded.

TMT chief executive Douglas Davey told City Press the transaction was “primarily financially driven” and that Kapsch would assist TMT with access to “international markets”.

Davey said “actual profit” from the project would ­accrue to many entities and he ­expected less than 25% of profits to be “repatriated”.

» When the project was announced in September 2009, mention was only made of the R1.16bn cost for the design and building of the system.

Operational costs

Alli revealed on Wednesday that the bulk of the contract (R4.73bn) was for operational costs over eight years.

Asked why Sanral couldn’t operate the system, spokesperson Wanda Cloete this week said: “Sanral has always appointed contractors to construct, maintain and operation infrastructure or toll operations through competitive tender processes”.

» When Sanral issued a pre-qualification for the tender, the contract was divided into five packages, for which different companies tendered. In the end all the packages were awarded to ETC.

Cloete said the tender “prescribed” that only one main contractor would be appointed.

Sanral issued bonds and borrowed money from international financial institutions to fund the R22bn road constructing and tolling project.

Funding


KPMG senior economist Lullu Krugel last week questioned the agency’s calculations.

Sanral is on record as saying it expected to earn more than R300m a month from toll fees.

“The bonds issued were maturity bonds. The first one matures in 2020, then in 2023 and then in 2034.

At R300m per month, Sanral will be able to pay back all the bonds plus interest over eight years (in June 2019). Why so quickly?

And what will happen to the money Sanral makes after this?

“We already pay our taxes and levies on petrol for road maintenance, and now this.

People are not convinced the money will be spent effectively,” said Krugel, who will have to pay an extra R1 500 per month on travelling costs herself.

Effect study

Makhura told City Press the Gauteng ANC was asking for a task team that would conduct an effect study of the toll system.

“The plan as it stands at the moment will have grave consequences for people in terms of their living standards and the economy.”

Makhura said the government should create efficient and reliable public transport first before it could force people to abandon their cars.

“The only alternative is taxis and taxis as we have them now are a problem. Nobody should even talk about the Gautrain as an [affordable] option.

The railway is completely unreliable. What the tolling is going to do is to push people onto municipal roads and those roads are going to be severely damaged.

People who say there is an alternative, don’t understand Gauteng,” Makhura said.

Mokonyane said she would not be “challenging the tolling, but the application of the strategy” in her meeting with Ndebele.


 

Comments
  • lmduplessis - 2011-02-20 17:57

    So this is why they're asking so much, so they'll be able to scrap SOME profit together for themselves after the Austrians are done raking it in.

      POLLENYS - 2011-02-20 18:18

      Jip. Be sure that of that 85c 65c will land in the pockets of the corrupt occupants of the gravy train.

      Zanu - 2011-02-21 08:07

      I don’t know about you... but im not going to pay a cent to use "my road" that has been built using my tax and fuel levy money. I already spend R1500 a week on fuel (large portion of that goes to the authorities) I refuse to pay anymore... they can arrest me, I don’t give a damn... I wish all South African will do the same and refuse to pay, cause they can not arrest us all, First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the communists and I did not speak out - because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out - because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me - and by then there was no one left to speak out for me. The German anti-Nazi activist, Pastor Martin Niemöller South Africa, its time to stand together, united we can beat this.

      Felix - 2011-02-21 11:41

      Great comment Zanu!

      Dawid Spies - 2011-04-07 13:37

      All i see is Mass protest with tyre burning on the highway... this wont realize.. the tolls will be burnt down eventually. Im glad that this effects all nationalities, black or white, poor or rich. All will be effected by this (price increase on all retail and production areas) I cant wait for south africas biggest traffic jam in history when you see tyres burning on gilloolys interchange.. watch this space

  • Mr D - 2011-02-20 18:11

    And it goes on and on, the ANC and tjommies are raking it in again..

  • Dave - 2011-02-20 18:12

    Just like the ANC itself, this story is rapidly unravelling

  • Tseko - 2011-02-20 18:22

    anc should stop privatization,where's the freeeedom of movement,which you proclaim!!!

      Mike - 2011-02-20 18:58

      The ANC should be stopped period

  • senku - 2011-02-20 18:23

    the whole toll thing should be stopped.there is a lot cheating in this thing

      Mike - 2011-02-20 18:57

      Damn right

  • Pilgrim - 2011-02-20 18:24

    This is absurd! Pehaps we should encourage these foreigners to build their toll structures in SA and then support Malema in hijacking and nationalising these toll systems. At least that way the money will stay in the country ;)

      Mike - 2011-02-20 18:51

      Right on

      Felix - 2011-02-21 11:42

      We'll just burn them down for some or other reason.

  • k1dbl4ck - 2011-02-20 18:24

    This is a classic case of globalizationitis.

  • Sentor - 2011-02-20 18:41

    People cannot afford this so it really doesn't matter how much spin is put on the issue these costs cannot be absorbed by the local economy. Instead of the Gautrain that money should have been spent on the highways. Bling and greed wins hands down in this country.

  • R.Suppards - 2011-02-20 18:49

    SANRAL is supposed to exist for the benefit of road users, where did this PROFIT motive rear its head. According to an interview in the Sundayt Times with Chris Barron, SANRAL CEO Nazir Alli states on the R0.66 per km toll " There are a number of things we took into account, including the benefit of a good road versus a poor road" Satements like these boggle the mind!!

      Dave - 2011-02-20 19:40

      The arrogance of the man's comments in that article left me speechless

      k1dbl4ck - 2011-02-20 19:48

      they may as well make it 66.6c and swear their allegiance to the devil.

  • Mike - 2011-02-20 18:56

    Stuff these people and damn them to hell. What do we pay levy upon levy in our petrol for? And the arrogance in saying they will withhold license discs if toll fees arent paid and they will set debt recovery steps in motion, well, the news for them is they will have to PROVE that I incurred the debt in the first place. More than once I have uncovered other vehicles riding around with my registration plates on it and our metro's admit there is a high incidence of cloned cars. Down with the ANC, viva any party able to take them on, the useless BASTARDS

      Anthony - 2011-02-20 19:17

      yep, we will pay and we will pay and we will carry on paying until, what has happened in North Africa, the bubble will burst, but the money vultures would have escaped,long live the dreams of the anc ! what garbage

      Felix - 2011-02-21 11:44

      I hope it does end up like North Africa and not Central Africa...

  • TGSA - 2011-02-20 19:09

    Interesting that KAPSCH introduced the toll system in Austria. But guess what the toll fees are per year (2011)? Euro 76.50 (approx. R726), PER YEAR!!! Listen, PER YEAR!!!

      k1dbl4ck - 2011-02-20 19:59

      nice research. i can vouch for that. Was in Austria in December. Those roads are spotless. Smooth as silk. Tyre noise zero. I saw a team of 5 workers (none of whom where standing around looking at each other like the ones here btw), frantically fixing an indentation in the road caused by newly installed barriers.

  • TimeOfNick - 2011-02-20 19:13

    All the outrage is one thing. Whether South Africans will actually have the guts to protest this effectively is another. Here is one way to protest: On the first day that the toll is opened, the road should be blocked by motorists. (Actually, it'll only take a few cars that are coordinated to stop, but having a lot more people in on it will make it difficult to arrest anyone). Create a massive traffic jam and prevent people from getting to work. Do this until the government comes up with an alternative plan.

      Harshad - 2011-02-21 07:42

      I totally agreee. Come on people, lets stand together!!

  • TimeOfNick - 2011-02-20 19:19

    All the outrage is one thing. Whether South Africans will actually have the guts to protest this effectively is another. Here is one way to protest: On the first day that the toll is opened, the road should be blocked by motorists. (Actually, it'll only take a few cars that are coordinated to stop, but having a lot more people in on it will make it difficult to arrest anyone). Create a massive traffic jam and prevent people from getting to work. Do this until the government comes up with an alternative plan.

  • TimeOfNick - 2011-02-20 19:20

    All the outrage is one thing. Whether South Africans will actually have the guts to protest this effectively is another. Here is one way to protest: On the first day that the toll is opened, the road should be blocked by motorists. (Actually, it'll only take a few cars that are coordinated to stop, but having a lot more people in on it will make it difficult to arrest anyone). Create a massive traffic jam and prevent people from getting to work. Do this until the government comes up with an alternative plan.

      TGSA - 2011-02-20 19:23

      One comment is quite enough but you are right, South Africans are like sheep, nothing will happen, everybody will pay. Our only hope is COSATU...

      gary.gecko - 2011-02-21 10:52

      We should organise, and block the highway for a day until they either drop the toll rates to and affordable amount, or scrap it completely. If they stop stealing and wasting, they will get enough money from our fuel levy's to pay back the loans.

  • Pilgrim - 2011-02-20 19:22

    Taxpayer beware! As far as milking us, I think "we aint seen nothin yet". More and more of us are having less milk to spare these days, but they keep coming up with new ways to take our money.

  • Valis - 2011-02-20 19:36

    This is the reason why you can not have illiterate goat-herders trying to run a modern economy. They simply don't have the necessary skills.

      k1dbl4ck - 2011-02-20 20:03

      ^ what he said. but with caricatures and everything.

  • Bheki - 2011-02-20 19:42

    Can someone account for the levies that I pay on petrol? Can someone account for the money I pay for licensing my car. By the way who benefit by having a new driver license every 5 year or it was a job creation project? I wonder how were those road built before by the then government without tolling.

      Anthony - 2011-02-20 20:12

      Driver license every five years ! You should ask former minister Mac Maharaz, what ever, he awarded Mr Shabir Shaik's family co'ed the contract, they made millions. Mac and his madam live happily after, while Zuma smiles as he benefits from the plan !The rocks stuffed up but this scary stuff !!!!!

      jef lebowski - 2011-02-21 12:07

      1OO% Correct. Google Pro Diba,Nkobi Holdings.

  • Macho Mike - 2011-02-20 20:14

    Life in SA under the African National Circus is one long Toll.

  • Dirtyharry - 2011-02-20 20:15

    Keep it up ANC one of these days their will be nothing left of this once beautifull country,and then the white man will be called upon to come and fix it again.

  • Krush - 2011-02-20 20:50

    If they want to tax something, tax luxuries. Tax alcohol and cigarettes. Getting to work is a necessity - how the hell can you expect us to pay even more for that?

      BigD - 2011-02-21 07:17

      why stop at alcohol and cigaretts, maybe bigger tax on cars over R200,000 and non esential items. Maybe a huge tax on hair weaves and extensions:-)

      Krush - 2011-02-21 09:11

      hahaha@hair weaves and extensions.

      Felix - 2011-02-21 11:48

      & Chivas :)

  • James Horn - 2011-02-20 21:13

    you can be sure the austrians are giving kick backs to the anc for this!

      Felix - 2011-02-21 11:48

      dah

  • Douglas - 2011-02-20 21:57

    Hey! Stop worrying - I am sure that the Taxi fraternity will work out a way of nullifying the system. Then let the ANC deal with them.

      AJ - 2011-02-21 07:03

      Taxis will be exempted from paying. No need to nullify the system and ANC has dealt with them. Easy.

  • Stofbolletji - 2011-02-20 22:17

    Austrians are steeling our money cause the ANC allows them to."Give me R10m and you can put a toll gate and keep all the money,just tell me where to sign."

  • pharrt - 2011-02-20 23:23

    ian is correct - DO NOT PAY. If enough people refuse to pay, they would not be able to prosecute everyone. It's a joke. Just spread the word DO NOT PAY

  • Tseke - 2011-02-21 04:03

    Guys please stop complaining and do something about it, it's your right to protest. That's why the government bully you, because they know that you just going to yap yap yap and do nothing afterwards.

      Kevin Rack - 2011-02-21 04:21

      You are right. Whites stand around the braai and bitch but dont do anything more. Get off your fat white arses because your lives and your childrens lives depend on it. South Africa is nearing a dangerous tiping point and when it does, look at your kids in the eyes and say I did nothing but bitch and moan. Every time a race based court case happens it is filled with non whites making a statement by protesting. I know somebody has got to do the work but in the end some one will have to fight otherwise the minority will be looking at Zimbobwe ZANUPF attacks.

      Boychild - 2011-02-21 11:10

      Thanks Tseke, Its true, the ANC believes that if there is no protest there is no problem or crisis...... see ANC comments on Jo'burg accounts debacle.... so lets protest and remember the more violent the more serious the issue is viewed...

  • SnowBeard - 2011-02-21 06:53

    But wait - there's more! We would be silly to assume that the 66c odd per kilometer charge will stay at 66c per kilometer. Watch while it goes up and up and up like the other tolls already in place. I laugh out loud when I remember the statement by the then minister of transport (or whatever - I think it was Hendrik Schoeman?) many years ago when the first toll road was built in the southern Cape. This was the one that bypassed the passes at Tsitsikamma. The public was assured that the toll would only be for a while until the road was paid for. Still laughing!

  • Joy - 2011-02-21 07:29

    why did they bother giving the contract to an Austrian company in the first place? this all sounds very off to me....

  • kevventer - 2011-02-21 07:31

    sounds like we need a French style revolution. The ANC are always saying they are revolutionary... What will happen when their followers turn on them due to all the k@K. All the other african and middle east countries are now proof that dictatorships dont and wont work.

  • Zanu - 2011-02-21 07:54

    I don’t know about you... but im not going to pay a cent to use "my road" that has been built using my tax and fuel levy money. I already spend R1500 a week on fuel (large portion of that goes to the authorities) I refuse to pay anymore... they can arrest me, I don’t give a damn... I wish all South African will do the same and refuse to pay, cause they can not arrest us all, but I know most South African are just sheep.

      Mike - 2011-02-21 13:04

      I am not going to pay either. They come with their big talk about not issuing license discs and initiating debt collection against defaulters but they can go and stuff themselves. They have by law to prove it was me that incurred the debt and with all the duplicate numberplates and cloned cars around they won't be able to.

  • Realistiqly - 2011-02-21 09:06

    Ag please guys, your comments is like a fart in the wind. No impact at all. I can guarantee, this will just be complaining without any action. We need to stand together on this one. The fat cats are getting fatter and the working class is getting poorer. It is the middle class person that is going to feel this the most. Are we just going to sit back and take it? We are being taxed on fuel, taxed on food, taxed on our salaries, overbilled on water and electricity - don't forget the 43% electricity increase coming on soon... I am praying that we in Gauteng can all stand together on this one for once, black, white, brown, poor or rich.. I will toyi toyi, just say when and where and I'm there...

  • Qazas - 2011-02-21 09:17

    What frustrates me is that we struggle along as the roads get built, payed for by our time in traffic jams and taxes. We are not told a thing about how much, just rumours. And now the government wonders why we are angry when they release toll fees. Never mind the fact that a large portion, regardless of the percentage is leaving the country.

  • gavinvanhoof75 - 2011-02-21 10:00

    This is a money making racket. I am living in Dubai, UAE now for the past 5 years. We have a toll system here called "Salik" which works the same as in SA. Here you purchase a SALIK recharge card from a convenience store, call anumber and your cell phone is linked to the vehicle registration. The charges are calculated to decrease the further you drive on the main motor way. The max charge I think is 3Dhs (equal to 6 ZAR) for 3 km's, but the final charge works out to 1Dhs (2 ZAR). Now as I recall the road in SA, espcially the N1 is not that special and has been in operation before 1980's, why are SA citizens still paying for a road that is old. Yes it needs maintenance, but so does all roads. I just feel that SA'cans are being taken for ALL that they have. How will business'es survive, at the end it is the little dude at the bottom of the food chain that is getting it up the crack. Shame on you SA Roads! Shame on YOU!

  • emmamimie - 2011-02-21 11:31

    ONLY WORKS FOR BBBEEE.FORGET ABOUT THE POOR NON EMPLOYED IN THE TOWNSHIPS. WAKE UP PEOPLE YOUR GOVERNMENT HAS OPPRESSED YOU SINCE 1994, YOU WILL NOT BE IN THE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT, YOU DO NOT MIX WITH THE ELITE BLACK PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY.

  • M'hlanka - 2011-02-21 13:03

    Since the damage done on the N1 by cetrain class of vehicle from Beit Bridge to Cape Town is the same for every km travelled, then why don't they toll the road the same way from BB to CT at a lower rate per kilometre.

  • M'hlanka - 2011-02-21 13:06

    Since the damage done on the N1 by certain class of vehicle from Beit Bridge to Cape Town is the same for every km travelled, then why don't they toll the road the same way from BB to CT at a lower rate per kilometre. Whats expensive in this whole thing, is it the tolling system or the road itslef? What portion of the R0.66 goes to the tolling system itself that will never be used on the road again?

  • Gavin - 2011-02-21 13:54

    This is very easy to sort out.When planning a trip on any of these toll roads, make sure you fit your state of the art, custom made " ANC GP " number plates to your vehicle.

  • Jules - 2011-02-21 13:56

    if everyone removed / covered their number plates for the first week, imagine the chaos that would cause for SANRAL........ Just a thought!

  • Gavin - 2011-02-21 13:57

    This is very easy to sort out.When planning a trip on any of these toll roads, make sure you fit your state of the art, custom made " ANC GP " number plates to your vehicle.From this, the camera's will know where to send the account to.

      di - 2011-02-22 08:43

      :) where can I get a set of these plates!

  • darynlouw - 2011-02-21 15:19

    That's it Zanu, building a unified front where all refuse to pay is the best way! they cant lock us all up. IM IN!!

  • M'hlanka - 2011-02-21 15:27

    If it cost R19bn and 85% (i.e. R 0.85 of every R1) goes to the Austrians, does it mean that R19bn x 85% = R16.15bn is for the cost of toll gates and 2.85bn is for the cost of road infrastructure which is the real upgrade (NB. Corrupt charges are excluded to simplify the analysis).

  • Andysor - 2011-02-21 15:32

    Most of you are missing the point. Tolling has 2 aims: encourage people to use alternate transport modes and to live closer to work. The first aim is not applicable to SA and therefore weakens SANRALs case. The second is VERY applicable to SA and is at the root of the scourge of urban sprawl. The only way we can build a functional PT system is by encouraging people to make more sensible choices about where they live which will create higher land-values in central areas allowing businesses to cluster in central points. Unfortunately this all requires a bit of stick, not only carrot.

      ffaarg - 2011-03-29 21:50

      There already is a massive incentive to live closer to work. But that is not always possible since most families have both parties working. And they work where they have a job. But the price of fuel, maintenance and resale value of your car are already powerful incentives.

      ffaarg - 2011-03-29 21:56

      I also forgot. The time it takes to get to work and back, not to mention traffic are possibly even more powerful incentives. This toll is on average going to take about 50% of a families disposable income i.e. money after tax, school fees, insurance, medical aid, etc. Probably more actually. This toll is inefficient in two ways, firstly we are not getting good value for it i.e. what portion actually goes to maintaining and building new roads versus administration and reallocation, secondly it is not efficient. Roads, rail, etc are the life blood of the economy, and roads in particular are in this country. Roads all revenue to be generated whether it be transporting goods or people to and from work. So we can effiently collect revenue to support our transport infrastructure whether it be ports, rail, roads through VAT and income tax. We don't need another FIEFDOM that corrupt people can milk without providing any real value.

      mike881 - 2011-04-05 13:45

      You forget one crucial factor. I,m a furniture retailer - to deliver the goods to the customer I am forced to pay additional costs (tolls), this I add into the cost of the product. The manufacturer to get the goods to me will also have to increase the price to offset the additional toll expenses. The suppliers to the manufacturer will also have to increase their prices for same reason, and so the snowball effect. This is not like VAT where you can offset your input VAT against your output VAT. Who will pay for all of this - the consumer! Who will be the only person to gain from this, other than the toll companies, is Government. Why, because they will be collecting even more VAT from the substantially higher prices on every single commodity.

  • di - 2011-02-22 08:41

    I was just wondering what people were thinking as they watched those steel monstrosities being built? Why all the hype now that they're completed? Almost bolting the stable door after the horse has bolted. We have the road building expertise in SA. Why was it handed to Austrians? Did they pay the biggest bribe?

  • jooste.justin - 2011-02-22 09:35

    Transportation should be clean, green, fast, comfortable and affordable for all; It must also be financially sustainable on a global level. THE TIME FOR A NEW MODE OF TRANSPORTATION IS NOW! http://www.et3.com/

  • Saab - 2011-02-22 09:50

    I enlist my name to any movement intent on making sure this does not happen! Even if we have to boycot use of the road, so be it! This is economic tyrany and terrorism! What else?!!!!!!

  • Ian - 2011-02-22 16:01

    how much does the minister personally profit from this his comments get onn the busd does not look after our the tax payer intrests its smacks of pay up i want my share

  • Miguel - 2011-02-23 11:00

    This has major implications across the board. Food prices, in fact prices for all goods will greatly increase as they will now cost more to deliver. This again will suit the government as it means higher VAT payed on all goods as they now cost the consumer more. What about small businesses who conduct deliveries or collections around Gauteng? How will they make ends meet when it starts costing them thousands more per month to conduct their businesses? I can't believe certain individuals are commenting that people should move closer to work. Most households have both spouses working just to make ends meet! I suppose if one works in Pretoria and the other in Johannesburg they should just get divorced and move closer to their respective jobs so as to survive on their incomes. I can assure you that not one government minister will pay for tolls and neither will taxi drivers. That leaves the tax payers or slaves depending on your definition to foot the ever increasing government spending.

  • JOHNNYBRAVO - 2011-04-05 12:45

    follow the money trail. ALWAYS follow the money trail!

  • Marius Dumas - 2011-08-22 11:48

    I want to suggest that motorists make small change at the bank, and pay tolgates only in 5c and 10c pieces. It is leagal and they will battle counting money all day. Do not make use of easy payment methods. You only make it easy for them. Make them suffer!

  • Johan - 2012-04-26 18:10

    puik anc beplanning !!!! Soos ALTYD 'n MISLUKKING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 300 jaar gebou aan die land -- OPGEDONNER in 20 Jaar . Beautiful brainless oeople.

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