SANRAL cannot deflect their financial demise on OUTA
Following SANRAL’s CEO, Mr Skhumbuzo Macozoma blaming of OUTA for SANRAL’s dire financial situation in a media statement which states “OUTA’s malicious actions are designed to destroy SANRAL and deprive South African citizens of world-class national road infrastructure.” Quite the contrary, OUTA is on record stating that South Africa needs SANRAL and its road building expertise, but it needs this state owned entity (SOE) to operate transparently and to make decisions that are in the best interest of the public they serve.
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has and will continue to support and drive more civil disobedience campaigns, if and when government entities introduce unsound business practices and irrational policies.
“If Government and its entities are serious about turning the state of our economy around, they need to meaningfully engage with civil society to ensure that irrational policies and poor development decisions do not become unaffordable and costly to the state and its citizens.
"The problem with SANRAL is its continuous lack of transparency to enable the public (who are ultimately going to pay for SANRAL’s loans) to clearly understand what this latest R7bn loan is required for,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s CEO. “When we hear via the media that SANRAL seeks more money to upgrade existing toll roads, it must be clearly stated which declared toll roads this loan is allocated to.”
Due to SANRAL’s poor management of the Gauteng freeway upgrade, they (and ultimately the public) paid R18bn for a project that should not have cost more that R10bn. In addition, SANRAL signed the e-toll management contract with the Austrian based Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) company, to pay them R8,2bn for the 5-year 'operations service’ of e-toll collections, after telling the public that ETC tender was won with the operations service being tendered at R4,73bn. In the absence of clear explanations of this massive adjustment and waste of tax-payers money, OUTA will continue to support the public civil disobedience campaign against the irrational and grossly overpriced e-toll scheme.
“If Mr Macozoma wants to hold OUTA to account for its role on the e-toll matter, we would like SANRAL to explain why they have suspended the e-toll test case, wherein OUTA is defending over two thousand members of the public who have been summonsed by SANRAL for their defiance against the defunct scheme,” adds Duvenage.
It is our view that SANRAL’s own serious errors of judgment on the e-toll decision, combined with their atrocious misleading information supplied to the public and continued lack of transparency, is the reason for SANRAL’s financial woes. “Once again we see this behaviour which is very typical of Government organisations and poor leadership, who refuse to be introspective on why they have failed to perform and instead they seek to blame others for their demise.”