The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) notes with interest the dismissive comments made by the ANC’s Mr. Gwede Mantashe’s about the impact of e-tolls on the elections, wherein he states the people of Gauteng ‘must stop whinging and pay up’.
“The eleven percentage point drop off in overall electoral support for the ANC in Gauteng translates into a substantive decline in the traditional support base of the ANC since the 2009 elections. As much as the ANC Executive try to downplay the decline, it is massive and is largely attributed to the decision to force e-tolls on an unwilling and angry public who wont pay for something they were not adequately consulted on or that they didn’t ask for” says OUTA Spokesperson John Clarke. He adds that “while the Nkandla issue has been a national one, e-Tolls has been concentrated to the province of Gauteng, which is where the biggest haemorrhage of ANC support took place.”
The ANC provincial chair Paul Mashatile recently said that some ‘honest introspection’ was needed to identify why the Gauteng ANC has lost votes. “When the new Gauteng Provincial legislature convenes the ANC will have seven less members than before, with their 40 MPL’s facing a combined total of 33 opposition members from both the left and the right, all of whome being opposed to e-tolls. Mr Mantashe is not serving the interests of the ANC by playing along with Sanral’s ambitions on e-tolls” Clarke said.
Wayne Duvenage, the Chairperson of OUTA, adds that, “The Gauteng based ANC Leadership would be wise to embarking on a path of meaningful engagement with stakeholders on the e-toll issue as soon as possible, before it gets any messier. If they want the truth on how the Gauteng public feel about e-tolls, they should consider calling a referendum, or take a serious look at the myriad of polls and discussions on the matter. With well over a million freeway users in Gauteng defying the system, combined with the serious administrative problems, extremely high costs and gross inefficiencies, the e-toll decision was always flawed as a result of poor research, weak data and an arrogant attitude employed by Sanral to convince the authorities to proceed. It’s certainly not going to get better.”