“Just five days later we are able to announce that over ZAR1.35 million (US$131,274) was raised from the public, plus a further ZAR1 million (US$100,000) contribution on Friday from the DA,” said Wayne Duvenage, chairperson of OUTA.
“We certainly did not expect this significant answer to our call and want to thank each and every person and organisation that took the time to contribute. The DA’s injection was a huge and significant boost for us.”
OUTA said in a statement it took the group a year to raise ZAR8.4 million (US$817,000) and reported ZAR6.7 million (US$651,000) of the ZAR8.4 million was received from 220 businesses.
Furthermore, the alliance believes the public being so quick to respond with donating money is an indication of large scale opposition against the government’s and the South African Roads Agency’s (SANRAL) plans to implement e-tolling in the country.
“We were also moved by the many small value donations, some made as cash deposits. There were also numerous businesses that came to the fore with many ZAR10,000 (US$973) and a number as high as ZAR100,000 (US$9,724),” said Duvenage.
OUTA is concerned about SANRAL’s plans to attempt to introduce e-tolling as early as next month. Duvenage believes South Africa will see an “interesting period” should SANRAL indeed implement e-tolling next month, approximately two months ahead of a court challenge, which might rule e-tolling is to be halted.
“SANRAL could find themselves in a quandary of having to refund customers, or press on with another appeal, in an ever growing environment of rejection by society,” said Duvenage.
OUTA has also expressed concern over the fact that authorities seem to be ignoring the continuously increasing civil rejection of e-tolling.
Duvenage said: “You have a situation of sheer blinded ignorance if the authorities believe that they have some degree of support for their plan.
“This is not the time to test the waters on matters of this magnitude. Our economy is in a fragile state and our credit ratings are going south.”