SA e-tolling sends R1.2bn into Austrian coffers

An Austrian company that won the bid to build and operate Gauteng’s e-tolling system made R1.2-billion in one year from its South African operations, the Star reported on Tuesday.

According to Kapsch Traffic-Com’s 2010-11 annual report, released in March last year, it made R1.2-billion in South Africa from traffic and parking fines and sales of e-tags. This year’s report had not yet been released.

The company initially won the tender to operate the e-tolling project in a consortium with Cape Town company TMT Services and Supplies. A few months after the tender was awarded Kapsch bought the majority shares in TMT for R75-million. TMT was involved in traffic law enforcement.

The contract to run the tolls runs for eight years.

“TMT Services and Supplies engages in projects for traffic monitoring … including speed monitoring in Gauteng and the Mpumalanga province,” the newspaper reported.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven told the newspaper the organisation was opposed to the privatisation of public roads.

“They should not be there for a private company like Kapsch to make money at the expense of the people of Gauteng.”

Automobile Association spokesperson Gary Ronald said the high revenue was “scary”, considering the number of vehicles compared to other countries Kapsch operated in.

“There are only 10-million vehicles in South Africa, four million in Gauteng. Is this the amount of money they can make from just 185km of road?” he asked.

Tolling of major roads in Gauteng was scheduled to start on April 30. — Sapa

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