Following Transport Minister Blade Nzimande’s recent
statement on funding challenges for GFIP and the allocation of state funds to
counter losses on the e-toll failure, OUTA believes that Government needs to
seriously investigate the other policy options available to service the Gauteng
Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) bonds. These include the renegotiation
of the debt with the PIC and reassessment of budget reallocations by Treasury
to cover the debt.
In addition, while ring-fencing of a small part of the fuel levy for GFIP has been rejected by Treasury in the past, the time to reconsider this option has come. Furthermore, OUTA believes that SANRAL may be owed more revenue from the profits made by the three main toll concessionaires on long-distance tolled routes.
"We believe that Government has kicked the e-toll can down the road for too long now and every day the scheme is left to continue in its failed state, the problems for SANRAL will continue to grow. We wish to also highlight that the amended AARTO Act will not be the panacea for SANRAL’s e-toll headache, as it will face significant constitutional and administrative challenges," says Rudie Heyneke, OUTA's Transport Portfolio Manager.
OUTA looks forward to sharing its constructive input and suggestions with the Minister in due course and suggests that SANRAL also gives consideration to the millions of Rands it is wasting on an expensive litigation process currently being waged against the public who have consciously defied this irrational scheme.