Prominent South Africans reject e-tolls on Twitter

2013-12-03 10:02
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E-tolling begins in Gauteng

Gauteng road users woke up to tolled highways on Tuesday morning after the controversial project finally kicked in after midnight. See pictures.

Cape Town - Prominent South Africans have taken to social media to voice their opposition to the e-toll system that went live on Tuesday.

Zelda la Grange (@ZeldalaGrangeSA), former secretary to Nelson Mandela, tweeted that the e-toll system was not comparable to traffic fines.

"Cant compare traffic fines to etolls. Traffic fine: u committed an offence. Etoll: u pay because the money was used for corruption elsewhere."

That was retweeted over 130 times as Gauteng road users faced the prospect of e-tolls being in operation.

Writer Gus Silber (@gussilber) expressed his views about the system that requires users to have an e-tag in order for e-tolls to be processed.

"#eTollBumperStickers See No eToll, Hear No eToll, Speak No eToll; My Other Car Also Doesn’t Have an eTag."

Legal requirement

According to the Johannesburg metro police, early morning traffic was normal for the area when the system went online.

Though an e-tag is not a legal requirement, the department of transport encouraged people to register for an e-tag as failure to do so would nearly double the cost to use the road.

The Opposition To Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) led an energetic campaign to stop the implementation of e-tolling, but was ultimately defeated.

"SA consumer apathy and self-preservation will eventually scupper any meaningful anti-etoll mass action. Business has already capitulated," tweeted author Chris Moerdyk (@gussilber).

The e-toll system is designed to ring-fence funding for the maintenance of roads but critics have questioned whether the cost of collecting the money will be efficient.

The South African National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) rejected these arguments, saying that the collection cost would comprise 17c out of every rand collected.


"The 17c covers all the costs associated with collecting tolls including salaries, bank transaction costs, toll infrastructure maintenance costs, telecommunications costs, postage costs, municipal rates and taxes, incurred by ETC-the South African  firm appointed by Sanral to manage e-tolling," said Sanral general manager for Communications, Vusi Mona.

Radio DJ Darren "Whackhead" Simpson (@WhackheadS) summed up the feeling on many Gauteng motorists with his assertion of e-tolls.

"Imagine if this E-toll thing is the biggest 419 Scam in History!"

How do you feel about the fairness of e-tolls? Send your comments to News24.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter
Read more on:    twitter  |  sanral  |  gauteng  |  e-tolls  |  social media
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