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24 February 2012 at 10:53 - Posted by Anonymous

Gauteng Toll Gates: Gordhan sets a price trap


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Media Statement from The Freedom Front Plus

“The Freedom Front Plus believes that the minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan yesterday in his budget speech set a discriminating price trap for road users of the Gauteng toll gate system. The party is not happy with the apparent concession of a price ceiling of R550 for the payment of toll fees. The project should rather be scrapped in its entirety,” adv. Anton Alberts, the parliamentary spokesperson on the Economy for the Freedom Front Plus says.

 

“The minister did not give the assurance that this R550 ceiling will not be increased annually. Road users can therefore expect an annual increase in the maximum amount to be paid for toll fees. The annual increase could happen over a period of 4 years until the state’s debt on the project has been paid off. The minister is therefore setting a trap for road users to believe that they will never pay more than R 550,” Alberts explained.

 

The practice is also discriminatory as motorists who inevitably cannot make use of public transport will have to pay toll fees while taxi’s and busses will not have to pay any fees. Yet, both taxi’s and busses make money from the use of the toll roads. The majority of motorist’s budgets are already so strained and the toll fees will be just too much to fit into their budgets. Even with the apparent concessions, the Gauteng economy will be harmed by the implementation of the toll fees in April.

 

It would have been more logical if the minister had announced that the building and maintenance of roads will be paid from fuel levies. If the government could find an extra R5 billion this year in its budget to make a payment toward the debt on the toll gate project, the government could over the next four years find the same amount in its budget until the government has settled the debt of the project. The government was rash with the planning of the project and is incompetent in finding a solution to pay off the toll gate project debt.

 

“The FF Plus is not intimidated by the threats of the government spokesperson, Jimmy Manyi that motorists who refuse to pay toll fees will be prosecuted. The party wants to send a firm message to him and the government that the toll road project is immoral and discriminatory and does not have any legitimacy. The party will on its own and in conjunction with trade unions and civil organisations continue with the planning of legal steps and civil protest actions against the toll road tariffs,” adv. Alberts said.

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