SANRAL CEO lied on radio – OUTA

SANRAL CEO lied on radio – OUTA

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) has claimed information made public by South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) chief executive officer (CEO) Nazir Alli on Friday was dishonest.

OUTA has notified the public prosecutor of an additional allegation against the roads agency, having last week released a 15,000-word research report into e-tolling, calling for the controversial policy to be suspended immediately.

Alli was speaking on Talk Radio 702 when he said over one million road users had registered for e-tags, the system was performing well and SANRAL was now receiving over ZAR300 million (US$28 million) a month, ZAR100 million (US$9 million) more than expected, and was therefore “meeting obligations”.

OUTA has said it believes the information is fabricated and the numbers make no sense.

“If indeed just over one million freeway users are compliant (driving with e-tags), out of a possible (approximately) 2.5 million, how is it possible that Mr Alli claims they have well exceeded their target of ZAR200 million (US$18.5 million) by 50 per cent to achieve revenues of over ZAR300 million?” the group said.

“Mr Alli obviously has an interest to push the fact that e-tags are in active use and not in various store rooms or shop shelves, by playing word-games,” said John Clarke, spokesperson for OUTA.

“While there may indeed be 1.2 million e-tags in ‘circulation’, our opinion is that less than 750,000 are in vehicles on the freeways. Our research has been further corroborated by intelligence received from reliable sources which back up our claims that as of end February, slightly less than 30 per cent of vehicles driving on the Gauteng freeways were fitted with e-tags.”

The group has appealed to the SANRAL CEO to be transparent about the real numbers surrounding the e-tolling scheme.

OUTA has opposed e-tolling since the outset of the initiative, and has also previously called on government to scrap the policy.

In December OUTA accused SANRAL of fabricating data on how many road users had signed up for e-tags, prompting repeated denials of the allegations by SANRAL.

HumanIPO reported today the Democratic Alliance (DA) would be appearing in court this week bidding to have the e-tolling bill declared unconstitutional.

The DA announced in January it would be challenging the bill on March 4.

The political party believes the bill was wrongfully imposed after it was erroneously classified, resulting in the bill not being approved by provincial representatives.

Image courtesy of Shuttershock

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