The group that has stood up against e-tolls is widening its scope to challenge poor governance, maladministration and corruption around South Africa.
The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) will expand its fight against e-tolls to include campaigns that will focus on government’s alleged misuse of taxpayers’ funds, such as the nuclear energy procurement plan, Eskom’s tariff hikes and the constant taxpayer bailout at South African Airways (SAA), it said on Saturday.
Outa will also continue its focus on the N2 Wild Coast Toll Road and the Cape Winelands projects.
Outa will now stand for Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse, chairperson Wayne Duvenage told Fin24.
While continuing its campaign to shut down the e-toll system in Gauteng, Outa has already started engaging the authorities on various issues, such as the carbon tax.
This tax is “irrational and will not achieve the goals it purports”, said Duvenage.
Additionally, it has started engagements on the tyre recycling tax plan under the auspices of the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (Redisa), which Duvenage said is an “apparently wasteful tyre tax charge, which is not achieving its goals and objectives, (but) instead enriching the directors linked to it”.
It has also engaged authorities on Eskom’s tariff hikes, which he said are based on questionable asset-based calculations.
Other issues Outa will focus on will be the nuclear energy procurement plan, which Duvenage believes is “unjustified in the context of the spend and affordability”, SAA, which he said is an “abuse of taxpayers’ funds” and the long-distance concessionaire tolled routes, which he said has “questionable relationships and revenue flows”.
Since 2012, Outa’s sole focus has been on the Gauteng e-toll issue. “It is a matter which we do not intend to halt on, until the scheme has been abolished in favour of a more efficient, rational and lowest cost option to finance Gauteng’s freeway upgrade, such as the fuel levy,” Outa explained on its website.
“From our experience and knowledge gained through the e-toll challenge and the tremendous support we have received from the public, there is a call for Outa to expand the fight by challenging poor governance, maladministration and corruption beyond just the e-toll issue.
“Outa’s committee has agreed that we have the experience, a track record and the necessary integrity required to broaden our scope by investigating, engaging and holding the authorities (bodies and individuals) to account for actions which transgress our constitutional rights.
“We will take these matters seriously and if need be, spearhead litigation against corruption and blatant maladministration by individuals.
“We will do this through a process of crowd funding and democratic participative engagement with the public who enroll as contributing members of Outa.”
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse will have an official launch in February.