I’ve written from time to time about E-Tolls and the great stench of rotting fish that surrounds the entire affair. However, let me put to one side the economic and philosophical questions of how we fund a piddling 100Km of National roads in Gauteng out of the 7000KM nationally, and do what every investigator is taught to do – follow the money.
A quick summary:
First, ownership. The local operators, ETC, are 65% owned by Kapsch, and 35% by TMC. TMC in turn is, given a slight variance, 66% owned by Kapsch and 33% by the former directors of TMC. The entire e-tolling apparatus has therefore a majority overseas ownership. A rough calculation shows that of every R1 of profit generated by ETC and TMC, nearly 80c can go overseas. This on SANRAL’s own calculations equates to over R300Million a year being transferred from Gauteng motorists to Kapsch overseas.
Independent calculations show that at least 50% of the toll fees collected will be used to pay the collection costs.
Second – overseas expertise provided by Kapsch Sweden, who used to be SAAB Aerospace. If you recall in 1999, SAAB Aerospace owned 50% of SANIP, the other 50% being owned by British Aerospace. SANIP was thought to be the conduit through which bribes to ensure the selection of the Gripen fighter were paid to politically connected individuals and organisations. All allegations of course. But, the then SAAB Chairman admitted in 2011 that at least R20Million had been paid to Fanu Hlongwane, adviser to Joe Modise, head of the Bid Committee as part of the deal. Other estimates range as high as R200Million. Allegations, reality, take your choice.
It is interesting to note that Chris Dover, the bid negotiator from BAe for the Gripen deal was also the Kapsch bid negotiator during the e-tolling selection exercise. As far as I am aware, he is still employed by Kapsch in Sweden.
The kleptocrats running this country have amply demonstrated that they would not ignore the opportunity to manipulate the process in order to take a slice of the over R300Million a year being expatriated to Sweden and Austria.
In case you think it’s just me, here are two documents giving a more detailed exposition:
Given all this, are you still going to buy an e-tag?