Is there a link between the World Cup and e-Tolls?

Published on: 19 August 2015

Is there a link between the World Cup and e-Tolls?

South Africans will never forget the infectious excitement that lead up to the World Cup, nor will they ever forget the controversy brought about by the e-Tolls. Five years later, and both the World Cup and e-Tolls are still featured on the news and in our Social Media. The alleged corruption, bribery, bullying and lying has led many South Africans to question the true intention behind these topics.

We’ve laid out what has been reported so far:

Is there a link?

When South Africa won the bid for the 2010 World Cup, the nation saw a boost in development – stadiums were designed and built, hotels popped up all over the country, infrastructure was improved and the country was prepared to welcome hordes of visitors. However, the amount of tourists who arrived were only a fraction of those expected over the World Cup period.

Because of this flaw in judgement, South Africa had to come up with a way in which to pay off the debt for the premature splurge on development, which totalled in the billions.

In an attempt to fund the R20 billion rand highway upgrade1, SANRAL (South-African National Roads Agency) developed the idea of automatic toll gantries, stating that this would reduce the volume of traffic on public roads. However, in awarding the tender to build the e-toll gantries, South Africa poured out another R1.7-billion2 resulting in an inconceivable amount of debt incurred over the space of less than five years.

The e-Toll Debacle

If the media is to be believed, SANRAL is awaiting more than R1 billion in outstanding e-Toll bills and fines. However, this is apparently merely a fraction of what is owed on the parastatal debt. Many believe that the government blames the public for the lack of diligence when it comes to paying back what is owed. Cyril Ramaphosa recently commented on the fact that “SANRAL owes something like R20 billion”3. Considering interests rates and inflation, by the time that the debt is repaid, the amount will almost double. Lest we not forget about the remaining debt that has yet to be paid on the infrastructure costs for the World Cup.

Whatever your reason for paying (or not paying) your e-Tolls, be sure that you remain protected on our roads. Invest in affordable car insurance and ensure that your vehicle is covered by a reliable provider. If you have yet to invest in cover, shop around and request insurance quotes from reputable insurance companies.

For more on the eToll saga, click here.