South Africa’s E-Toll Controversy
The controversial topic that has been in the news headlines since it came to effect. The controversial system has upset the local public in Gauteng to an extent that they have made numerous court applications to stall the rollout, the decisions to rollout the system has been met with a public outcry and has proven that it is in no way beneficial to any relevant party. There has been a lot of speculation regarding the financial aspect of the system and most of the public are unsure where the initial funds came from to fund the road upgrade, SANRAL is now standing arms wide open awaiting the return on their investment.
Last weeks’ decision that the road user must pay the lower rate and that all outstanding debts should be claimed back from the public or road users will face the possibility that their car license will not be renewed, this is extortion through and through and the supposed law makers will now be guilty thereof. So far only 45 percent of road users are complying. It is clear that we are not living in a “democratic” society and our government dictates the way forward ignoring the constitution and laws of our country. The question still remains where does this leave the “road user”? The fact of the matter is that local infrastructure and alternatives routes are not being maintained to such an extent that it is user friendly, and thus road users will rather use the toll roads for fear of unsafe roads.
The E-Toll system was an erratic concept that was not thought through from an administrative and logistical point of view, it isn’t practical and the controls that are in place are severely flawed. Laws that were put in place by the same government to protect the freedom of the citizens, and a situation has been created that laws have to be change to accommodate the flawed system.
This is a good learning curve for the government, the public are voicing their opinions to such an extent that laws cannot merely be changed to suit the governments’ needs and not the people, the results that were anticipated is now haunting their very existence. This matter will not be resolved quickly and until such time we shall pray and see.