HumanIPO reported earlier this week on the DoT considering further cuts to the e-tolling tariffs.
In a statement, OUTA said further cuts to the e-tolling tariffs are cause for more concern as the cuts come with more problems and questions.
“The first concern with a reduction in e-toll tariffs at this stage, is why now? Where was this money going to go in the first place? Have the collection costs suddenly been reduced or is this a case of trying to force a thinner edge of the wedge into the door of public acceptance?” asked OUTA.
“Sugar coating the pill now merely prolongs that pain that society will have to endure later, unless of course there will be more transfers from treasury under renegotiation of the contracts to significantly reduce the costs of collection.”
Wayne Duvenage, chairperson of OUTA, said the authorities must realise their tactic is not fooling the public.
“They know the rate of today is not the rate of tomorrow. They know it is the inefficiency of a system that is saddled with high costs of e-toll collection which enriches foreign and local companies, all of which does not disappear through a temporary reduction in the e-toll tariffs or any other enticement tactics that SANRAL will deploy in the coming months,” said Duvenage.
OUTA said it is “extremely worrying” watching society’s rejection and uprising against governments taking their people for granted, such as Brazil, Egypt and Turkey.
OUTA believes it is a possibility of similar mass protest action occurring in South Africa, which will be detrimental to investor confidence and the country’s economy.
“We trust the minister of transport (Ben Martins) will apply his mind to the past and recent round of public submissions and that he will indeed hear the thunderous call from all sectors of society for an alternative to e-tolls,” said Duvenage.