“Infuriated” IFP ridicules e-tolling system

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in Gauteng, South Africa, has urged the provincial government to create an environmentally friendly and cost effective transport system instead of e-tolling.

The IFP believes the implementation of the e-tolling system will “increase the cost of doing business in Gauteng and [the rest of] South Africa.” The IFP have based their claims on evidence apparently discussed in a World Bank sponsored report titled “Doing Business in South Africa 2011.”

The World Bank report explains conducting business in South Africa is not as cost effective as other developing countries by comparison. The IFP believes that the implementation of e-tolling “will further compound this problem.”

The IFP said in a statement that it, similar to COSATU and other parties, “refuse to be dragged into supporting the government’s marginalisation of Gauteng residents and citizen’s voices.”

“Can we honestly make it any [more] obvious that we do not want this disaster-prone e-tolling project to carry on? We are infuriated with the government and its intolerable legacy of disregarding the already fiscally stretched bulk of people residing in townships or poor urban peripheries,” said Bonginkosi Dhlamini, the IFP caucus leader in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

The IFP added that it finds it “ridiculous that taxi transport services have been excluded, but food and freight transport vehicles that service townships and other areas have not been exempted”.

The IFP believes this will increase food prices and will negatively affect “African and black” citizens of the province. However, the government “persistently argues the system is a necessity”.

Dhlamini said the IFP in Gauteng “therefore urges government to commission research that will rather aim to create a transport system that is environmentally friendly, cost effective (self-sustaining) and actually reverses apartheid type spatial travelling arrangement of Gauteng.”

The IFP shares the same views as the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA), theDemocratic Alliance (DA) and scores ofSouth Africans who are opposed to the e-tolling system.

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