E-toll hike the straw that breaks consumers' backs - DA

Johannesburg - Sanral's decision to increase e-tolls in March will be the last straw to break consumers' backs if government does not take immediate action to prevent it, the DA said. 

The Democratic Alliance said in a statement that the price hikes would have a severe knock-on effect, further driving up costs. 

"Gauteng is the engine room of South Africa's economy, and government must free it from the shackles of e-tolls and give life back to people who are slowly being suffocated," it said. 

The DA suggested a ring-fenced fuel levy to spare Gauteng the burden of e-tolls. This, the DA said, would have settled the costs of the freeway improvement project had government implemented such a measure in 2008. 

"The DA has declared e-tolls an enemy of the people, and we will use every method at our disposal to remove the burden of e-tolls when we take over the cities of Tshwane and Johannesburg later this year," the party claimed. 

"E-tolls are unjust, unfair and a massive burden on Gauteng’s people, and President Jacob Zuma and the ANC must bring pressure to bear on Sanral [SA National Roads Agency Limited] and stop the increase from going ahead." 

The DA said Zuma should reduce his "bloated" Cabinet and cut down severely on corruption and government waste thus injecting R30 billion into the economy every year.

Plans to increase e-toll prices by almost 5% were announced in the Government Gazette on Tuesday

The latest increase comes barely six months after the tariffs were reduced as a result of a public outcry, and discounts of up to 60% were offered on outstanding balances accrued before September 2015. 

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