JOHANNESBURG – Although it would not be accurate to say that
Justice Project South Africa is in the least bit surprised at SANRAL’s latest disrespectful propaganda stunt contained in its
media release of today, it would be accurate to say that we are not impressed
SANRAL has NOT “remained
silent” on the Gauteng e-tolls review panel as is being suggested by some. To
the contrary, it has previously categorically stated that it will not
co-operate with the panel.
For SANRAL to now come out with a hi-jack tactic stating
that “The Board of Directors of the South
African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) sent an 8-page communique to
Gauteng Premier David Makhura prior to the commencement of the 15-member
panel’s hearings” is disingenuous at best. “Has SANRAL not heard of following up and/or
addressing communications to the entity involved?” asked JPSA’s national
chairperson, Howard Dembovsky, “When I wrote to the panel asking to make a
representation to it on behalf of JPSA, I got a response within hours and we
were the first civic organisation to get to speak and make a written submission
to the panel on Monday 1 September” he continued.
SANRAL again chooses to use words like “misinformation,
propaganda and belligerence” in its media release today, while it is the one
guilty of engaging in “misinformation, propaganda and belligerence”. SANRAL seems to continually forget that,
despite it not being a government department, it is a State Owned Enterprise
and is therefore accountable to the people – not the other way around.
SANRAL has already been found to be engaging in false
advertising by the Advertising Standards Authority, its claims have been
refuted in parliamentary answers provided by the Minister of Transport and it and
its spokespeople have used insulting and defamatory language by calling their
opponents by calling people “hustlers” and telling people to “raise their IQs”,
etc. There can be nothing more “belligerent”
than State employees insulting members of the public, threatening them with
criminal records, etc. given the fact that the word “belligerent” means “hostile or aggressive” and SANRAL’s approach
has been both hostile and aggressive to anyone who doesn't buy into its stories.
Furthermore, SANRAL is again showing its
contempt for due democratic processes and the public it claims to serve by once again attempting to hi-jack
the process by addressing the Gauteng e-tolls review panel through the media
instead of having the guts to make its representations to the panel itself.
SANRAL is again referring to the outright lie that “the fuel
levy cannot be ring-fenced” that it and Treasury has been perpetrating since
this debate began. The RAF levy is completely separate to the “fuel
levy” and has been more than successful in financing the Road Accident Fund. The RAF does not “collect the fuel levy or
the RAF” either, the fuel wholesalers and Treasury do and it is then allocated
to the RAF.
What’s more is that Section 34(1)(b) of the SANRAL Act clearly
states that: “The Agency is funded and
provided with capital from the levies on petrol and distillate fuel to be paid
to the Agency in compliance with or in terms of any law by or in terms of which
that levy is imposed” and yet SANRAL chooses to focus solely on its legalised Ponzi Scheme of bond sales,
where investors are offered an extremely lucrative return on their investment.
The impressive piece of architecture that the SANRAL Central
Operations Centre is housed in is largely comprised of glass and as the saying
goes, “people in glass houses should not
SANRAL’s Media Release:
SANRAL Board requested audience with Gauteng Premier on the
Pretoria, 17 September 2014. The Board of
Directors of the South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) sent an
8-page communique to Gauteng Premier David Makhura prior to the commencement of
the 15-member panel’s hearings.
“We took a pro-active step and communicated our position on this
matter. We also requested an audience with the Premier to understand his
position and exchange views on how, together we can address the challenges of
funding road infrastructure without it being at the expense of social
infrastructure. Perceptions that we were not prepared to enter into dialogue
are therefore unfortunate,” said SANRAL Acting Board Chairperson Dudu Nyamane.
As for a presentation by SANRAL to the panel established by
Premier Makhura, the agency could not make such as the Board is guided by the
SANRAL and National Roads Act, Act 7 of 1998, and is
ultimately accountable and responsible to the Shareholder (the national
Minister of Transport) for the affairs of the agency. This means that the
position has always been clear: the user-pays principle is a national policy
which was implemented with the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.
“We do not take instructions from any political party, as was
recently reported in the media, but from the Shareholder and the relevant
legislation governing SANRAL. We are an implementing agency of government,”
The Board expressed its sincere gratitude to all road users –
individuals and companies – that have done the right thing by registering for
e-tolls, and/or paying what they owe for the use of the world-class roads
between Johannesburg and Pretoria.
“Do not be misled by the detractors. By registering and paying,
you are making it possible for SANRAL to continue to fulfil its mandate by
building and maintaining world-class quality roads.
“The user-pays principle is a fair system that has made it
possible to improve the vital roads of Gauteng – the economic dynamo of South
Africa. To also bring sanity to the question of SANRAL and tolling: our
portfolio is made up as follows: 85% non-toll, 14% toll and 1% e-toll. It is
unfortunate that a single percentage of SANRAL’s work has been the cause of
much misinformation, propaganda and belligerence - to such an extent that at
times it threatened the mandate of such an important national asset,” averred
SANRAL’s endeavours reach beyond the borders of South Africa, too.
Explains Nyamane, “SANRAL’s road network is recognised world-wide as being
amongst the best internationally and its staff allocate a considerable amount
of time transferring these sought after skills to many countries, particularly
on the African continent.”
She also clarified that the agency gets an allocation from
National Treasury to look after the non-toll national roads (85% of its
network) and also raises money from capital markets to fund its toll operations
which constitute 15 percent of the agency’s road portfolio.
“Therefore, the argument directed at SANRAL that it should fund
the GFIP through a fuel levy is misdirected. SANRAL does not collect the fuel
levy. Besides, Treasury has explained why it does not ring-fence the fuel levy
and why, from an equity point of view, a decision was taken to fund the GFIP
through tolling,” she concluded.
on behalf of SANRAL
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