Friday, February 7, 2014
E-tolls system is starting to crack - Outa
Feb 06 2014 16:55 Fin24
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Johannesburg - E-tolls have given rise to SA’s biggest single issue of resistance and friction between the state and its citizens in recent times, according to John Clarke, spokesperson of the Opposition To Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa).
He regards Monday’s taxi protest as an indication of additional complexities arising from an unregulated industry onto which the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) is trying for force a cumbersome regulated process.
While Outa disapproves of the disruptions and damage to property caused by the protest, it feels the many taxi drivers have every right to feel aggrieved "by cynical co-option tactics due to Sanral’s attempt to keep them at bay on the e-toll issue".
In 2011, Sanral offered full exemption for taxis on the tolled roads.
"Some two years later, it doesn’t take much to see through the administrative bungling and e-toll complexities to realise why the taxi industry is protesting against e-tolls," said Clarke.
The protest by taxis, which are supposed to be exempt from e-tolls, "shows e-tolling is starting to crack under the sheer weight of a cumbersome system, fraught with maladministration and complex relationships", Outa said.
On President Jacob Zuma's lashing of Sanral and the e-toll billing errors, Outa said that, while this indicates that the billing crisis is now being taken seriously at the highest echelons of government, it would have expected Zuma to call Sanral to book for their threatening and disrespectful communication methods to herd users to buy e-tags.
Outa called on the authorities to suspend the "ill-conceived" plan, before the "unintended consequences become too costly and dire for our country to endure".
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