HumanIPO reported last week Ian Ollis, shadow minister of transport for the Democratic Alliance (DA), called SANRAL’s advertising campaign “tacky” and that is was nothing more than propaganda.
“This must go down as one of the world’s most unsuccessful marketing campaigns, whereby several millions of taxpayers rands have been spent with little success in the promotion of their cause,” said Wayne Duvenage, chairperson of OUTA.
OUTA believes an advertising budget of this size is only enjoyed by few of the top multi-billion rand corporate brands in South Africa, which operate in competitive industries.
Contrasted to this, SANRAL is a monopoly backed by government money.
“There is something seriously wrong with any entity that operates in such a protected environment and spending so much money trying to sell an ill-conceived plan to society, whilst at the same time observing its credibility sink deeper into the mud,” said Duvenage.
Furthermore, OUTA has accused SANRAL of embarking on an advertising strategy with the intention of convincing society to “pay far more than it needs to” through the system of e-tolling, which enrich companies overseas.
“A number of corporate entities, government departments and others will tow the e-tag line, however, tens (if not hundreds) of thousands will not get tagged, nor will they pay for the use of freeways. This is not because they don’t want to pay for infrastructure that offers benefits to society, but because SANRAL and the government have lost the trust of the people on this issue,” said OUTA in a statement.