Ollis extended the call for clarity to the South African Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) and the Department of Transport (DoT), the two state entities behind e-tolling in South Africa.
“It can only be deduced from South Africa’s failure to learn from Portugal’s e-tolling woes, that neither SANRAL nor the Department of Transport conducted thorough research into the viability of e-tolling. If they did, they negligently opted to ignore the Portuguese example,” said Ollis.
Ollis added: “According to recent reports, as a result of lower than expected revenue from e-tolls, Portugal’s e-tolling system has been so unsustainable that the country’s road chief has warned that there will not be enough money for road maintenance.”
Based on Portugal’s failure to successfully implement e-tolling, Ollis believes this is a clear indication e-tolling will also fail in South Africa.
Ollis said, according to António Ramalho, Estradas de Portugal’s (Portugal’s roads agency) chief, it had failed to collect more than ZAR386 million (US$39.094 million) from e-toll transgressors.
“They found that on average 19 per cent of toll-road users fail to pay for using the toll roads and that e-tolls have effectively forced thousands of cars onto secondary roads. He further admitted that expected revenue from e-tolls is far below those anticipated by initial studies.” said Ollis.
In conclusion, Ollis said: “Contrary to SANRAL’s repeated assertions, e-tolling does not create funding for road maintenance, all it will do is create a massive administration burden, undermine economic growth, hurt the poor, and ultimately result in job losses.”
Furthermore, Ollis called on SANRAL and the DoT to “do the right thing” and scrap e-tolling.