The Democratic Alliance has called on roads agency Sanral and the department of transport to can the controversial e-tolling project in light of the fact that a similar project in Portugal failed.
In a statement, DA shadow transport minister Ian Ollis says it “can only be deduced from South Africa’s failure to learn from Portugal’s e-tolling woes, that neither Sanral nor the department of transport conducted thorough research into the feasibility of e-tolling. If they did, they negligently opted to ignore the Portuguese example”.
Ollis says that due to lower than anticipated revenue from e-tolls, Portugal’s e-tolling system has been “so unsustainable that the country’s road chief has warned that there will not be enough money for road maintenance”.
“Portugal’s e-tolling failure is clear evidence that e-tolling does not work,” Ollis says.
Portuguese roads agency Estradas de Portugal has failed to collect more than €30m (R386m) from e-toll transgressors and has found that, on average, 19% of toll-road users fail to pay for using the toll roads and that failure to pay, among other factors, has increased administration fees from €17m in 2011, to €42m in 2012.
“Contrary to Sanral’s repeated assertions, e-tolling does not create funding for road maintenance. All it will do is to create a massive administrative burden, undermine economic growth, hurt the poor, and ultimately result in job losses.”
Ollis says it is clear that “e-tolling does not work” and will fail in South Africa as it has in other countries.
“The department of transport and Sanral now need to do the right thing and abandon e-tolling,” he says. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media