E-tolls crippling small businesses – DA

Gauteng’s e-tolls are killing jobs and businesses in the province, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Monday.

“The results so far reveal the e-tolls bill, for a sample of 50 small businesses, amounting to R850 000 so far this year,” MP Toby Chance said in a statement. “The highest cumulative bill incurred by a single enterprise was a staggering R101 761.83.” That was over R10 000 a month, he said.

The DA was announcing the initial findings of its survey on the e-tolls impact on small businesses.

Chance said some businesses had chosen to transfer the cost to their clients, while others had to retrench workers or scale down their business models.

Loss of clients
“The effect is simple and straightforward – the growth prospects for business and their ability to create jobs is severely hampered,” he said.

Chance gave examples of individual accounts by some businesses.

A family-run transport company, which had been operating for more than 50 years, said e-tolls were costing the company an extra R5 000 a month. This led to a loss of clients in Pretoria because they could not afford the transport services.

A small electronics business with three service vehicles had a R32 000 e-toll bill which had not yet been paid. The owner told the DA he would have to scale down which inevitably meant employees would be retrenched.

Larger impact
“While these results are a small sample, covering 50 small businesses in Gauteng, one can only imagine the impact e-tolls is having on the thousands of other businesses and companies throughout the province,” Chance said.

“Now is the time for people to stand up in support of growth and jobs, and against e-tolling.”

Small and medium enterprises contributed 57% of the gross domestic product and accounted for 56% of employment. Small, medium and micro enterprises were expected to create 90% of jobs required to meet the National Development Plan’ objective of 11-million jobs by 2030, he said.

“It is deeply ironic that the ANC government champions small business as the chief creator of jobs, but then implements a scheme which hinders the advancement and success of small businesses,” Chance said. “The reality is that tough times for business mean less jobs and higher prices for everybody.” – Sapa

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Guest Author

Two dead in new ANC KwaZulu-Natal killings

A Mtubatuba councillor and a Hammarsdale ANC Youth League leader were shot yesterday near their homes

Inside Facebook’s big bet on Africa

New undersea cables will massively increase bandwidth to the continent

No back to school for teachers just yet

Last week the basic education minister was adamant that teachers will return to school on May 25, but some provinces say not all Covid-19 measures are in place to prevent its spread

Engineering slips out of gear at varsity

Walter Sisulu University wants to reprioritise R178-million that it stands to give back to treasury after failing to spend it

Press Releases

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

Call for applications for the position of GCRO executive director

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory is seeking to appoint a high-calibre researcher and manager to be the executive director and to lead it

DriveRisk stays safe with high-tech thermal camera solution

Itec Evolve installed the screening device within a few days to help the driver behaviour company become compliant with health and safety regulations