‘After a decade of defiance, seven transport ministers and billions in uncollectable debt, government has finally acknowledged the end of e-tolls, with Minister Godongwana’s MTBPS including transfer of R23.7bn from Treasury to SANRAL.’

“This is a clear indication to OUTA that the e-tolling of the Gauteng Freeways will be halted, and the funding mechanism has been shifted to national Treasury and Gauteng provincial government allocations, a solution that OUTA proposed to government over a decade ago,” says OUTA CEO Wayne Duvenage.

The funding solution announced in the medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) by Minister Godongwana is this: “To resolve the funding impasse the Gauteng provincial government has agreed to contribute 30 per cent to settling SANRAL’s debt and interest obligations, while national government covers 70 per cent. Gauteng will also cover the costs of maintaining the 201 kilometres and associated interchanges of the roads and any additional investment in road will be funded through either the
existing electronic toll infrastructure or new toll plazas, or any other revenue sources within their area of responsibility. Government proposes to make an initial allocation of R23.7 billion from the national fiscus, which will be disbursed on strict conditions.”

OUTA has fought for over a decade to bring an end to the failed e-toll scheme, which was a battle fought through courts, through official inquiries, across social media, in protests on bridges and outside government offices, through millions of unpaid e-toll bills and the defence by OUTA of thousands of summonses by Sanral chasing debt.

Ultimately, the people have won on the decision that government will finance the Gauteng freeway upgrade undertaken between 2008 and 2012, through the united action of hundreds of thousands of motorists in a well-coordinated and peaceful civil disobedience champaign of non-payment for the irrational expensive scheme.

The e-toll conflict was one that seven ministers of transport, a trail of finance ministers and three presidents were unable to resolve. It was one that tried to secure 30% of Sanral’s revenue from the 1% of Sanral’s road network, had they succeeded in getting the scheme to work in their favour.

The e-toll saga has been a stern lesson for government, on the topic of meaningful public participation, and the need to take public input seriously, if policies and laws are to be respected.

For OUTA, it was their biggest, longest campaign that ran for over 10 years, supported by thousands of contributing supporters.

“This is a massive victory for civil society, and OUTA thanks each and every person who stood up against this irrational scheme,” says Duvenage, who pioneered OUTA’s strategy and has been the voice of e-toll opposition for a decade. Please visit https://www.outa.co.za/blog/newsroom-1/post/mtbps-2022-brings-the-end-of-e-tolls-1200