TRAVEL: Concern Over Serious Implications Of E-Tolling
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United opposition to the e-tolling system proposed by the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) is building up an overwhelming momentum as the South African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (SAVRALA) publishes its latest comment.
SAVRALA represents over 450 000 vehicles in South Africa and is actively participating in the progressive alliance developing between various transport associations which is bringing together a representation of over four million vehicles in greater Gauteng.
“We are immensely encouraged by the common view and approach taken by various motoring bodies, together with unions and taxi associations, towards the inadequacies, inefficiencies and exorbitant administration costs of the proposed ORT (open road tolling) system, which highlights the gravity of the situation,” says Wayne Duvenage, chief executive of Avis Rent a Car, a member of SAVRALA.
In its statement, SAVRALA objects strongly to the significant ORT administrative costs associated with the management of tags, moving vehicles between locations and the necessary back office systems required to support billing and customer queries.
Duvenage agrees, pointing out that SANRAL’s plan for this intricate and complicated tagging system to collect toll fees “must be one of the most inefficient processes ever envisaged for a project and road network of this size. There are far more efficient methodologies, such as using the fuel levy proposed by SAVRALA, which could be applied with far less waste and costly processes.
“In addition, using the fuel levy mechanism allows for and ensures greater transparency.” Lack of transparency is one of the concerns raised by SAVRALA, as well as the absence of an appropriate platform for transport-related associations to engage effectively with the Department of Transport. Duvenage concurs. “We trust that authorities will now appreciate the seriousness of this e-tolling matter and not act without real and meaningful consultation in the future.”
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