The Democratic Alliance (DA) outlined its ambitions to win South Africa’s wealthiest province, Gauteng, in the next elections, pledging to have e-tolls scrapped and it seems they are en route to achieving both goals.
DA former party leader Helen Zille said in June 2013: “What seemed unimaginable a few years ago is now looking likely. The DA is marching towards victory in Gauteng next year.”
Mmusi Maimane also added that the current e-toll mess as a means to justify why the DA should take control of the region.
Three years later, and the DA have just taken Johannesburg, Tshwane & are one step closer to the entire Gauteng region.
“There is no place for e-tolls in a DA-governed Gauteng. People don’t want e-tolls. They are too expensive and people are already stretched financially.
“My pledge to the residents of this province is that, as Premier, I will do everything in my power to stop e-tolling in its tracks.”
“Not only are e-tolls unfair, they will not work,” Maimane said alluding to new documents released by the party for the first time on Wednesday, which were brought to the attention of DA Shadow Minister of Transport, Ian Ollis MP.
The documents relate to the implementation of the Aarto Act, which governs how municipal authorities adjudicate and collect traffic fines, in the City of Johannesburg and the City of Tshwane.
Both these metros have been implementing the programme since 2008, and have made use of the same eNatIS system that will be used for e-tolling in the province.
The Working Group report revealed that:
- In 2011/12 89.54% of required payments in terms of Aarto remained unpaid by road users; and that the figure was 87.56% in the 2012/13 financial year;
- The total amount that remains unpaid over these two years is R2.096 billion;
- The 50% discount which is applicable to payments made within 32 days are completely ignored and that people “simply prefer not to pay at all”;
- The sending out of courtesy letters for payment was suspended in July 2012 because of a lack of funds. The total amount over these two years for the sending out these letters was more than R30 million;
- Only 0.58% of all required enforcement orders were distributed in 2011/12 and 2.4% in 2012/13.
The Aarto pilot project status report, dated 26 July 2013 also showed:
- The role players (City of Johannesburg and Tshwane) are not in a state of readiness to implement AARTO;
Due to budget constraints, “there was a period that all Johannesburg Aarto infringement notices were sent by ordinary mail in direct conflict with Section 30(1)” and therefore illegal;
- JMPD has had “wasteful” expenditure of approximately R60 million up to the end of June 2013 as the 2.4 million cases mailed out are outside the timeframes in terms of the Aarto Act and regulations;
- The compliance figure or payment rate of infringement notices has dropped to less than 5% and is as low as 1%;
The DA have claimed Johannesburg, Tshwane & seem to be one step closer to the entire Gauteng region. They will have a few years before the next elections… lets hope the change they are promising will be delivered.