News24

Public must know toll details - Outa

2012-10-15 21:23

Johannesburg - The details of the electronic toll collection contract (ETC) should not be kept confidential, the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) said on Monday.

"It shouldn't be confidential. It is taxpayers' money that is being used to pay the tolls, so the taxpayer should know what the money is being used for," said Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage.

However, there was nothing he could do about it after Outa agreed to sign a confidentiality agreement, said Duvenage.

This was the only way Outa was able to get access to the ETC contract to prepare for its court case.

Outa said in a statement later on Monday there was a misunderstanding over its decision to sign the agreement.

"This matter certainly is not a case of Outa 'doing a deal with the enemy', but rather, a case of acting in the best interests to protect the judicial review dates," it said in a statement.

The organisation was responding to a report in The Star newspaper on Monday that parts of the high court review of the project in November could be held in camera because of the confidentiality agreement.

This meant that taxpayers might never know the full agreements, pricing, and subcontracts surrounding e-tolling.

Last month, the Constitutional Court overturned an interim order which put a hold on the Gauteng e-tolling project.

During the case, the legal team representing the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) made selective references to the ETC contract, which Outa had not seen.

"Now imagine a court case for them to use the contract even though we had not seen it," said Duvenage.

"We needed to see them... so we were asked to sign a confidentiality agreement to see it."

The Democratic Alliance said the signing of the confidentiality agreement was suspicious.

"We have to ask why does Sanral appear to be hiding something, and who is it seeking to protect?" DA MPL Neil Campbell asked in a statement.

He said full disclosure had to be given to Gauteng residents.

"This case should take place with unrestricted public access, despite indications that Sanral wants part of it to be held behind closed doors," said Campbell.

"Anything less than full disclosure will confirm that Sanral and the government have something to hide."

He said Parliament, on request, received 27 of the 33 contracts relating to the e-tolls. The others were not given.

"Why are the other six contracts not forthcoming?" he asked.

"The latest in the smoke and mirrors saga is the confidentiality requirement which adds to the thick veil of secrecy surrounding e-tolling."

This added to speculation that someone at Sanral or in government stood to make "a pot of money" from e-tolling, said Campbell.

The Freedom Front Plus said it would to seek access to the full ETC contract.

"We will bring an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2 of 2000, against [the SA National Roads Agency Limited] Sanral and the department of transport," FF Plus MP Anton Alberts said.

The objective was to gain access to the full contract Sanral had concluded with ETC Pty Ltd.

"It says a lot that Sanral is trying to keep the contract secret."

Alberts said once the FF Plus had made the application, Sanral or the transport department would have 30 days to react. If the contract was then not made available, the party would turn to the courts.

The Constitutional Court found that the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria had not considered the separation of powers between the high court and the executive.

In April, the high court granted Outa an interdict, ruling that a full review needed to be carried out before electronic tolling could be put into effect.

The interdict prevented Sanral from levying or collecting e-tolls pending the outcome of the review.

Sanral and the National Treasury appealed against the court order, and said delays prevented the payment of the R21bn incurred in the project's building costs.

The review was expected take place in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on 26 November.

Comments
  • SharonE - 2012-10-15 21:32

    Give the contract to Wikileaks!! Or City Press!! We have a right to know - in fact, we demand it!! NO TO SECRETS, NO TO LIES, NO TO THEFT, NO TO ETOLLS

      lsfreak - 2012-10-15 22:14

      If the case is goin to court, then how can the contract be hidden if tax monies are used. I think the Gauteng ppl were sold out and better start savin :/

      aniken.vader.31 - 2012-10-16 01:33

      I just cannot believe that one HAS t ogo to the courts regarding disclosure of contracts that are supposd to BE in the public domain! WHAT THE HECK is this gov up to? so many fraudulent stories came out, we are being milked left and right! also what happened to complaing with the court rules? There was also that story about the arms deals that the npa had to discolse some documents to the da - WHAT HAPPEND TO THAT ONE??? doesn;t ANYONE tak einterst? are we THAT compliant with this criminal gov?

      petrus.ngwenya.3 - 2012-10-16 07:04

      It is in the public interest to know. We are being ROBBED, and the contract probably has a special clause for the bribes paid to the GAUTENG officials (ANC).

      art5SA - 2012-10-16 09:20

      OUTA... Now you KNOW the finer details....which COMRADES BENIFITTED... NOW GO NAIL 'EM... South Africa is BEHIND YOU, ALL THE WAY!!!

  • Mahomed Ismail - 2012-10-15 21:39

    Bloody Highway Robbers. WTF. Sanral and the ANC have no skin on the faces. Don't they understand and pay attention to the will of the people. Now they have the audacity to hide the contents of the contract. Shameless thieving fools

  • nicholas.graan - 2012-10-15 21:45

    If it is all above board why are OUTA being forced to sign Confidentiality Agreements? surely we have the right to know what our money is being spent on? These crooks are trying to hide something and it will eventually come out. Until then I am not paying a damn cent for anything.

  • piet.snot.77964 - 2012-10-15 21:47

    There MUST be something VERY wrong with the contract - why otherwise would they be so paranoiac . Why is there so much secrecy about this contract? Come clean an tell us why - maybe there is a good reason but I doubt it.

      yar.wellnofine - 2012-10-16 05:16

      Piet When the truth comes out, I am certain that we will find that the whole system has been designed to funnel our money into a few ANC politicians wallets. Follow the money to find out who is behind the scheme. Institutionalised theft is the ANC's official policy.

  • robert.rob.7505 - 2012-10-15 21:57

    Well there's only 1 solution to this scam - refuse to register for an E-tag

  • felix.lee.507 - 2012-10-15 22:11

    When you keep the public in the dark, especially when we the taxpayers are the ones that are directly affected and held hostage, then something is definitely very suspect and smells of a SCAM with added ransom.

  • clive.brink - 2012-10-15 22:25

    It is unheard of that the public can be forced to pay this additional tax without knowing exactly and what they are paying for. We are not a flock of sheep. We demand to know the exact and full truth and are becoming more and more suspicious by the secretive way that SANRAL and Government is going about it. It is clear they they are again hiding some deep pocketed connected individuals cronies. We rely on the DA and FF to get to the heart of this matter as it seems OUTA has already capitulated. No Tolls before full disclosure, people please stand by this principle.

      hein.huyser - 2012-10-16 07:16

      clive, don't be a troll now. For Outa to have been able to have access to this document they had to sign the confidemtiality clause, but, but, but in the courtcase it will all be revealed. In the meantime we must just not buy etags. We have to show these bunch of wolfes that they can not scare us anymore

  • aiazmir - 2012-10-15 22:40

    What has happened to our so-called democracy that the ruling party can hide behind non-disclosure to "hide its sins". This is a disgrace, an utter disgrace. This calls for a war on the ANC. These thieves cannot continue to rape our treasury.

  • IcemanGP - 2012-10-15 23:58

    I'm still not registering or paying. And I'm also boycotting any store that sells Etags.

  • hitting.thefan - 2012-10-16 00:18

    Hey even if a court orders these guys they will refuse. Corruption is everyday here. If our president is part of it what do you expect. And then he has the nerve to stand up in parliament and say S.A. is at the forefront of fighting corruption in the world. What a joke.

  • nico.vandermerwe.54 - 2012-10-16 02:39

    Three partite alliance, trade unions and taxi industry most likely scoring. Why are the usual suspects not making a noise? They are buying perpetual power, in the unlikely event of the masses deciding to vote for a proper government.

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-10-16 03:31

    This government is so corrupt and their supporters so f*cking dumb !! BUT WAIT there's more..like the wildcat strikes Sanral is going to experience the wrath of Gauteng !!

  • sounesc - 2012-10-16 05:56

    They can whistle for my money !

  • warwick.railton.7 - 2012-10-16 06:36

    There is not a chance in Hell I'll ever pay for e-tolls. Jail all these people & throw the jail away while we’re at it. Nazi Alli, and his co-horts need a good looking into, they are part of this conspiracy & there complicit. You have committed a crime, do the crime, do the time Nazi Alli.

  • lovenergy - 2012-10-16 06:47

    How can these contrats be kept secret! We as the people of SA demand to know what it is you useless thiefs are hiding. You are trying so hard to push this thru even though it will have devastating effects on the price of food and petrol which will end up hitting the poor the most! Who the hell can afford to give another chunk of their damn salaries to government?! We have so little left already! I don't care if outa breaches the confidentiality report, just leak it anyway! I don't understand how the taxpayers who are forced to finance this fiasco are not even allowed to know who is gonna make money of it! I'm tired of being squeezed dry while the useless government gets fat! We will all suffer together! White and Black alike!

  • sisie.indola - 2012-10-16 06:57

    If the public does not get to know all the details of the e-tolls then why the hell should the public pay? I would love to know what they are hiding, any hackers out there who would oblige.

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-10-16 07:00

    The question arises what is being hidden from the public? These idiots think it is the dark ages and they can do as they please, they must be shown up for what they are, corrupt, stupid money grabbers. Have they forgotten whose money it is, since when does anyone except Zuma pay for something without knowing the cost. I for one will not pay a cent to this e toll road system, will find alternate route.

  • hein.huyser - 2012-10-16 07:11

    This government can not be trusted. Never. Again they have benefitted illegally and now they want to hide it No to any government contract secrecy No to information declared secret by these thieves No to toll No to taxes without representation

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-10-16 07:43

    They must be stopped. Do not pay toll fees. Park your cars on the highways like taxis do ( that's why they want to exempt taxis). Their administration can NEVER cope with the volume of notifications to each driver. Plus false number plates, no number plates, car registered to the wrong person. Stolen vehicles etc. let them drown in their own sh&t. How can they want to keep contracts a secret unless there is massive massive FRAUD. We must not allow this to happen. The power is in our hands.

  • charl.bouwer.3 - 2012-10-16 08:50

    What I like about this saga is our government has dug themselves a deep black hole they or not going to get out easily. There is so many aspects of this. I want a full audit on all the companies involved in this project, the financial statements of these companies to see how much was actually spend on the upgrade of the roads and salaries of the workers and how much into the pockets of tenderpreneurs, including the companies that supplied the raw materials. Then when we get to actual tolling I want to know precisely who gets what for every cent that gets collected. Further more as Malema has shown us how clever they are with laundering there bribe money with his trust fund, all the stakeholders involved in this decision needs to proof they don't have similar Trust funds to funnel their bribe monies.

  • Vince.York - 2012-10-16 08:58

    Has even the Con Court "Conned" SA?

  • leon.groenewald.scuba.33 - 2012-10-16 09:22

    Call for public disobedience with all aspects of the E-toll debacle. Do not get an e-tag. Do not pay their invoices of ill-gotten gains: Why do they need to hide the details of E-toll, contracts, amounts and mechanisms from us (the public)?

  • flysouth - 2012-10-16 09:42

    This is clearly just another Arms Deal - designed with one objective in mind which is to cream off money in large amounts! Mrs Beeton's famous Victorian-era cookbook started with a recipe for "Jugged Hare" (whatever that may be!) and the first line of that recipe was written as 'First obtain a hare.." The ANC obviously has read this book and knows that the first essential of the recipe for scamming money from public projects is "First obtain a project with a large budget or cash-flow..."

  • donald.dougall.9 - 2012-10-16 11:14

    At the current rate of government spend on entertainment and travel the contract could be paid of in 5 years if the money was channeled in the right direction!

  • crazyjourno - 2012-10-16 12:26

    Fusk it... I will not pay

  • Marco Burger - 2013-06-10 16:24

    no to e-toll not now not ever

  • James Smythe - 2013-11-30 17:13

    We can see such striking similarities to the infamous Arms Deal that it takes your breath away! This e-toll deal is simply the replacement for and continuation of the Arms Deal in order that a new bunch of 'comrades' and perhaps some of the old, get richer! Whose "turn is it to eat" now, one wonders? Let's understand this phenomenon - and put aside any notion that it is an 'abberation' in the life and times of the ANC - the stark and unpalatable fact is that this is the way of the ANC as has been proven now over almost 2 decades, a generation! - indeed today it has become their raison d'etre. No solution can therefore be found in the ANC and calls for rectification by the ANC are futile. This is why I am doing everything in my power as an activist, to get rid of the ANC in Gauteng in 2014 and later in the entire country. The monster cannot be reasoned with, it must be destroyed before it consumes us all!

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