Outa to brief parliamentary committee over e-tolls

ape Town – The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) will brief Parliament’s portfolio committee on transport on Tuesday on alternative mechanisms for financing e-tolls.

Outa was asked to brief the committee on potential consequences of the planned e-toll regulatory amendments, concerns around toll collections, possible collusion in the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) and lack of court action against this behaviour.

Outa has been fighting the e-toll system in Gauteng for a number of years.

It all began when the Gauteng freeway improvement project (GFIP) was launched in 2007 and, after several court challenges to halt the project, e-tolls eventually went live at the end of 2013.

After conducting a review of the failing system in 2014, Gauteng’s Premier David Makhura said in January 2015 an official review related to affordability, sustainability and administration problems was needed.

By May 2015, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa fast-tracked the process, announcing that e-toll fees for light motor vehicles would be reduced from 58 cents per kilometre to 30c/km (with caps on payment), while discounting outstanding fees by 60%.

In December, Outa claimed that a gazette published by the transport department was an attempt by Sanral to force e-toll payments.

While this gazette seeks to amend the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act, Outa’s Wayne Duvenage believes it is an attempt to make it easier to include e-toll infringements in the adjudication process by the Road Traffic Infringement Agency.

The group submitted over 100 000 comments to explain why the gazette should not become law, Outa said.