I am no fan of the E-tolling system that the government is trying to force Joburger’s to accept. It’s simply ridiculous, we have already paid for these roads, over and over. If the government had not wasted so much money buying arms we do not need, this would not even be a discussion! Anyway, someone else wrote an outstanding letter regarding E-tolls. It’s so good, I thought I better publish it here:)

WHOSE FREEWAY IS IT ANYWAY?

By Mondli Magwaza   Friday, October 25, 2013

The Propaganda is tricking you into believing that the streets are not yours, that it is by grace that you can enjoy cruising down the N1 (assuming it’s a Sunday night ). That you should be grateful of the little that they have done as it comes from the goodness of their heart. And I fear that you might be giving in.
No my brothers and sisters, these are our streets, we are the economy of the country, collectively we hold more power than the government.

A bit about me

I do not own an e-tag, Ok my name is Mondli Magwaza, a law abiding citizen and a married father of a 4 years old boy. I have a no criminal record and I pay most of my traffic infringements. I have never even been to a court room, I only go to police stations to certify documents. But in the recent issue of e-tolls I feel that I am ready to be executed for what I believe, I’m ready drive into a road block and declare that I won’t buy an e-tag and get hanged on the spot.

Why I’m not getting tagged?

Simple, because the road belongs to me and I have already over paid for it. In the 2013’s budget speech R32.9 billion was allocated to SANRAL for road improvements which came from society taxes collected from me and you. A little more than R 2 comes off every litre of petrol I fill in my car; this produces over R 40 billion rand per annum in revenue and is specifically for infrastructure development also known as my roads. I also pay my vehicle licence fees annually from which the Gauteng transport department rises well over R 2 billion per annum.

Let’s roll back to a stone left unturned

In 2006 SANRAL undertook the so called Gauteng Freeway Upgrade Project estimated at R 6 billion, which 5 years later ended up costing me and you over R 20 billion. This equates to over R 1 million per kilometer, which by the way was actually a few centimeters resurfacing of existing roads. Competition Commission’s investigation proved that the society was over charged for all the work, but the investigation was called off just as it was close to pointing fingers on the individuals that benefited from these exaggerated costs

What’s e-Tolling

In 2009 Electronic Tolling Company was awarded R 10.1 billion tender to extract money from Gauteng motorists through e-Tolling, ETC by the way is 85% owned by a European company KAPSCH, which publicly announced that they will earn R670 million per annum from the e-toll system. Take a moment to imagine the amount of Schools, Clinics and of course Roads (hello) that could have been built with all this money, don’t forget to breath.
The fuel levy mechanism on the other side goes straight to developing our roads, if this was really about the roads, the  Treasury would have added a mere 9c to the fuel levy from 2006, by now they would have accumulated more than R 17 billion, more than enough to keep our roads in an international standards that we are used to (The freeways are there, let’s give it to them), while maintaining SANRAL’s credit rating and keeping them focused on building roads and us, the tax payers, on working to build South Africa to what it could become.

This is not some national road in Malawi!

Our head of state with his reasoning poses a question “Why should the whole of South Africa pay for Gauteng roads” well Mr President, excuse me for thinking like an African but Gauteng roads are South African roads, The entire country benefits from us driving around them every day to work our butts off to be able to contribute 41% i.e. R 400 billion of South Africa’s social tax revenue, yet in return Gauteng only receives 10% from the national budget. It only makes sense Mr President that a country benefiting so much from Gauteng’s economic activities contributes in making sure that its citizens have the roads to continue doing their business.

I am an African

I then conclude that this is a harsh and painful “thank you” the ruling party is giving to its voters for affording it the majority that it enjoys in parliament.
I see my beloved South Africa as a golden goose, with a potential of laying unlimited golden eggs for the benefit of us and generations to come, but greedy and impertinent mechanisms are being applied to reach into its guts and pull the egg from it leading it to a slow painful death.
The Propaganda is tricking you into believing that the streets are not yours. I refuse to be naïve.