Decision to scrap e-tolls not final until enacted
OUTA notes the Moneyweb article which states that Cabinet has made a decision to scrap e-tolls. While on the face of it this is a welcome and long overdue decision, the decision to reverse the toll road declaration for Gauteng freeways requires formal enactment in law. Until this happens, this statement must be taken as rhetoric.
OUTA would also like to point out that scrapping the e-toll scheme is the cheapest option, as none of the current e-toll funds are being allocated to the freeway bonds and there are no penalties if the scheme is cancelled.
According to OUTA, the State has already been funding the GFIP bonds through Treasury’s tax allocations, which is the proposal made by OUTA from the outset of the freeway upgrade. Furthermore, Treasury has already increased the fuel levy well above OUTA’s suggested amount of 10c per litre of petrol since 2008, which means the funds already exist within Treasury’s coffers to make allocations to SANRAL to pay for the GFIP bonds, as it has been doing for the past six years.
OUTA urges the State to do less talking and make its decision final by reversing the declaration of Gauteng freeways as tolled roads and, until then, the public cannot regard the e-toll scheme as being scrapped.
“For now, we shall keep the champagne on ice,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s CEO.
A soundclip with comment from Wayne Duvenage is here.