Solly Msimanga conducts an oversight at one of Gauteng’s e-tolls. (Supplied)

E-tolls: DA accuse Tito Mboweni of plotting secret R5.7bn Sanral bailout

Shadow Transport Minister Manny de Freitas has accused the government of a “cover-up” for allegedly attempting to plough billions more into e-tolls.


Solly Msimanga conducts an oversight at one of Gauteng’s e-tolls. (Supplied)

The ANC’s stance on e-tolls is causing a lot of confusion. In Parliament on Wednesday, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said the party will be persisting with the unpopular system. However, Gauteng Premier David Makhura has said he wants to see the payments scrapped.

It’s hard to know who to believe. Especially, as DA Shadow Transport Minister Manny de Freitas believes, when the public isn’t being told the full story.

Tito Mboweni accused of secret e-toll bailout

De Freitas made a series of bold, alarming claims on Friday that essentially accuse Mboweni and the ANC of trying to disguise an attempted bailout for Sanral, to cover their losses of almost R6 billion. The shadow minister says that two key transactions prove there are sneaky attempts to revive the department.

“In the budget, R3 billion was transferred from Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) to Sanral’s non-toll network. This R3 billion and an additional R2.7 billion was then moved from Sanral’s non-toll network to the Sanral Gauteng freeway improvement project, informally known as e-tolls.”

“This ‘bailout’ comes after the Auditor General Kimi Makwetu revealed that Sanral is facing a R6 billion funding gap due to their insistence to continue with the failed e-tolls project.”

“We believe this is a cunning and disingenuous way in which government is using tax payer money to fund a system that they are forcing down the throats of Gauteng taxpayers.”

E-tolls: Where they are going wrong

This latest round of heavy criticism for the e-toll system follows on from another DA member’s ire in the past week: Solly Msimanga rallied against Sanral’s much-maligned structure, saying that they are R11 billion down due to non-payment from motorists.

Msimanga also stated they are facing an earnings shortfall of R2.1 billion this year. The opposition party have been vehement critics of e-tolls since their introduction in 2013.

Plotting a way forward, de Freitas confirmed that he would be submitting a parliamentary question to both the Ministers of Transport and Finance, to determine if this is nothing more than a “hidden bailout”.