Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) and the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) called on government to suspend the introduction of e-tolling scheduled for the end of this month.
The e-tolling project which will see road users cough out 30c/km on Gauteng highway has been met with protest from different corners of the South African public with a concern that it will throttle the economy. Cosatu has threatened mass action and other groups have taken the matter to court.
Busa said regulations and the tariff schedule released by the department on Friday 13 April, have far-reaching and significant implications for the cost of conducting business within Gauteng and throughout the country. “Bearing in mind that Gauteng represents around one third of South Africa’s gross domestic product, BUSA believes there are wider national implications”.
SACCI CE Neren Rau said the implementation of e-tolling must be delayed to clarify certain key aspects of the project. The delay can be used to explore opportunities for reduction of the cost to businesses and consumers.
BUSA sais “It is also of concern that there seems to be a lack of alignment between this piece of legislation and other legislation already in existence. The combined costs of enforcing the regulations and those outlined in the tariff schedule have the potential to greatly increase the costs of conducting business in South Africa”.
BUSA regrets the inability of the Department of Transport and SANRAL to communicate developments around the e-toll system effectively and transparently. “In addition there has been poor perception management and inadequate consultation between government and its social partners on the e-toll system. It is disappointing that SANRAL, who plan to launch the e-tolling system on 30 April, have not fully addressed the public’s concerns. This should have been done several months ago. The continued uncertainty and confusion around the e-tolling system only increases unnecessary pressure and insecurity for all stakeholders in the economy”.