E-tolls on road to disaster, and ANC burying heads in the sand - OUTA

Wayne Duvenage is the chairman of the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa). (Lucky Nxumalo)
Wayne Duvenage is the chairman of the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa). (Lucky Nxumalo)

The African National Congress has already lost the e-toll battle, and is ignoring "volumes" of evidence that it has failed, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse has said.

OUTA was responding to ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule, who on Tuesday briefed media on the governing party's latest National Executive Committee meeting. Magashule said the ANC had reaffirmed the user-pays principle for financing the upgrading of roads.

In a statement, OUTA said it estimated that as many as four in five Gauteng motorists were ignoring their unpaid e-toll bills.

"It is clear to us that the ANC NEC is ignoring volumes of empirical evidence from almost six years of the failure of the Gauteng e-toll scheme," said OUTA chief executive Wayne Duvenage.

"Statements, policies and regulations are one thing, but what matters most is the ability to implement laws and policies and, if government is unable to do so, it needs to find practical and workable solutions to the impasse as opposed to making glib statements in the hope that the problems will disappear."

According to Magashule, the NEC was in support of current processes to deal with e-tolls. "The NEC noted and supported the process by government to deal with the matter of e-tolls so that it is resolved amicably and expeditiously. The NEC re-affirms the user-pay principle in dealing with the financing of major infrastructure," he said.

E-tolls have been a contentious issue in Gauteng. Last month, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni took to Twitter to say  Gauteng e-toll users must pay, while the Gauteng provincial legislature stood by its position that there was no future for the e-toll system.

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