(Our_DA / Twitter)

E-tolls: End of the road may be nigh, as protesters push to scrap the system

After five years of misery on the roads, e-tolls are facing an uncertain future. DA-supported protesters have made their voices heard.


(Our_DA / Twitter)

It’s hard to recall a more unpopular introduction to our roads than the inception of e-tolls five years ago. Sanral’s brainchild – which has infuriated motorists all across Mzansi – has just four more weeks left to run before its service contract expires.

The DA’s Gauteng mayors, Solly Msimanga and Herman Mashaba, lead a march against the frustrating fees. Their delegation of demonstrators started from the Westgate Transport Hub in Johannesburg and ended in Fitzgerald Square. It was at their final destination where a memorandum was handed over to David Makhura, the Gauteng Premier.

Are we coming to the end of e-tolls?

The opposition party want Makhura to use his influence and force the permanent scrapping of e-tolls. Makhura is at loggerheads with the majority of the national government, who are adamant that the fees must remain in place.

Blade Nzimande, South Africa’s transport minister, is one of the most vocal supporters of the project. But it has bled money since its establishment in 2013. Indeed, Sanral’s Alex van Niekerk has previously admitted that the organisation are R38 billion in debt because of non-compliance – around 80% of drivers aren’t paying the fees.

The company who provide South Africa’s e-toll services are Austrian based, and the DA claim that 93% of all revenue it generates goes abroad. Mzansi only sees a fraction of the profits, and the current deal expires on 31 December 2018 – which is 26 days away.

50 000 people say no to e-toll charges

Msimanga rallied the thousands of protesters who took to the streets of Joburg, explaining that “now is the time” to ditch these unsavoury payments. He handed over a memorandum containing 50 000 signatures, all supporting the end of e-tolls:

“The ANC at national and provincial levels are on different ends of the spectrum on the e-tolls matter, which is affecting already over-burdened residents. Not only are e-tolls another expensive tax, but they also affect the economy because it adds to the cost of doing business.”

“If Makhura is serious about scrapping e-tolls he will take action on the DA’s memorandum. The DA’s position on this matter has never changed: E-tolls must go!”

Solly Msimanga