Roads agency Sanral is set to spend R85m this year on advertising its controversial e-tolling plans in Gauteng, according to transport minister Dipuo Peters.
“The SA National Roads Agency Ltd has a budgeted amount of R85m, which will be used for both the alternative sources of funding campaigns as well as corporate campaigns,” she said in a written reply to a parliamentary question, tabled on Monday.
An amount of R23,3m had been spent to date.
Peters was responding to a question posed by Democratic Alliance MP Ian Ollis on how much the roads agency “is planning to spend on advertising relating to the e-toll system in Gauteng”.
The minister’s reply shows the agency’s spending on advertising rose sharply after 2009/10. In that year, it spent R6,4m on “print and broadcasting advertising alternative sources of funding campaign”.
In 2010/11, 2011/12, and last year (2012/13), it spent totals of R30,4m, R84,5m and R87,1m respectively on campaigns and advertising.
In a statement issued later on Monday, Ollis said Sanral’s determination to continue with its e-tolling campaign was “a disgrace”.
E-tolling would not benefit Gauteng residents, and would hit the poor hardest “by increasing the price of doing business, resulting in food price increases and inevitably undermining economic growth and job creation,” he said. — Sapa