The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) has revealed that etoll revenue collections amount to just R60 million every month, which is woefully short of the monthly bond repayment of R260 million.
The etoll project has been met with resistance since its launch in December 2013 from both citizens and civil society organisations alike.
Now, the eyes of the ANC have turned to Nazir Alli, who the ruling party feels is responsible for losing long-standing ANC voters.
As a result of this, several ANC members feel it’s time for Alli to relinquish his role as chief executive officer of Sanral. This comes as a result of several problems, including that the Cape Winelands tolling project proposal was denied in court last week.
The Sunday Independent reported that Alli had supposedly assigned the roads which were to be tolled without proper approval from the necessary bodies; this spurs on rumours that the head may be on his way out.
Compounding this is the fact that an organisational report submitted to the ANC showed that e-tolls would have a significant impact on the ruling party’s performance at the next round of elections.
Additionally it was reported that Sanral reached R120 million in revenue collections in June 2014, but according to Wayne Duvenage from Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA), this has plateaued and “…etoll compliance levels were never going to achieve significantly more than that reached by June 2014”.
The tolling system continues to split organisations.
The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) feels that the ANC should listen to its people and scrap the etoll system entirely.
“We must investigate other means to fund massive infrastructure projects that the ANC-led government has continued to carry out in the quest of improving our people’s lives,” ANCYL secretary, Njabulo Nzuza said in a statement.
Last week members of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) took to the streets of Johannesburg and Cape Town to protest the etoll system and retrenchments.
With government having already handed over R5 billion to Sanral to stem an operating revenue deficit, it is clear that something needs to be done, and soon. The options open to government at this point seem to be either reworking the system completely or scrapping it, both of which could prove costly.