A nation united against e-tolling
Mention e-toll fees in any conversation and a tsunami of vitriolic responses follows immediately. Citizens aren’t shy to voice their opinions on e-toll fees. Public sentiment has been overwhelmingly negative since the very first mention of e-tolling back in 2007. The general feeling is that we pay sufficient other taxes including steep fuel levies to cover road maintenance and upgrades.
Symbols of Oppression
E-toll gantries have become a symbol of oppression to many road users who feel the Gauteng government and the ANC aren’t heeding the collective voice of the people. People of all colours and creed are united in their resolve to not be bullied into registering and paying for e-toll. The last time such a large and diverse group of people were opposed and stood against a single cause, it was when they fought for the end of apartheid.
Threats: Pay or else…
On May 20, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa introduced drastic methods to cut e-toll fees by half in some cases. He also warned that non-payers would have their licence discs withheld in future. This announcement caused quite an uproar with many calling his bluff, suggesting it’ll be illegal practice to refuse the re-issuing or renewal of licence discs because of non-payment of e-toll dues.
A resounding ‘no’ to e-tolls
The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) have called on government to abolish e-tolls. In a recent study conducted by Ipsos “the vast majority of Gauteng motorists (74%) were of the opinion that the government should find an alternative to the e-toll system in Gauteng.”
Government’s seemingly unwillingness to listen to the cries of the people may result in the ANC losing ground in the next elections. We, the people of South Africa have a voice and a say and we want it to be heard. We want a government that will listen to its people and respect their opinions.