Sanral reissues tender for continued management of e-tolls

As e-toll payment compliance slips further – to 18.45% in July.
The tender is for more than just e-tolls and features new eligibility criteria. Image: Moneyweb

The SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) has reissued the tender it cancelled in March for the continued management of e-tolls, despite the continuing uncertainty that exists over the future of e-tolls on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP).

E-toll account payment compliance rates have now declined even further to below 19%.

Sanral engineering executive Louw Kannemeyer confirmed that Sanral reissued the tender on July 17. The closing date is September 16.

The tender includes the operations and maintenance of a National Transaction Clearing House (NTCH) and Violations Processing Centre.

Still no word from cabinet

Kannemeyer said Sanral has not been informed of any decision by government on the future of e-tolls, stressing that such a decision will be communicated by cabinet.

The test case brought by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) to review the legality of the e-toll system has been postponed “subject to a cabinet decision on the future of e-tolls”, he said.

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu gave assurance in March that e-tolls would be discussed by cabinet, following a promise made in December 2019 that a decision on the future of e-tolls would be taken in the first cabinet meeting of 2020.

The cabinet has already met a number of times this year.

Mthembu did not comment at the time on why cabinet had not yet taken a decision.

‘Failed scheme’

Outa chief executive Wayne Duvenage said on Tuesday “it will be a farce and silly” if the main purpose of the reissued tender is to run the Gauteng e-toll system, particularly as e-tolls is a failed scheme and Outa does not believe it will be resurrected.

However, Duvenage said this tender is clearly for something more than e-tolls and incorporates integrated public transport and the transaction clearing house mechanism.

Duvenage said this will take Sanral a bit beyond its scope of road building but there is no reason it shouldn’t provide additional services if it has technology that can do this.

The National Transaction Clearing House (NTCH) is currently almost exclusively used for clearing e-toll collections for various toll operators and toll plazas. However, Sanral previously confirmed it is in the process of repackaging and expanding the function of its NTCH to provide a host of other mobility services, such as vehicle licence renewal payments, cashless parking, fuel payments and to use Sanral’s customer service centres for driving licence renewals.

R640m lockdown hit

Sanral CEO Skhumbuzo Macozoma recently reported that Sanral incurred a loss of more than R640 million during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Kannemeyer told Moneyweb last week that Sanral calculated this loss based on the difference between average income per day of week for the three months prior to lockdown compared with actual income per day during the various lockdown levels at all Sanral toll plazas countrywide.

Read: Gautrain partners take multi-million rand hit from drop in demand

He said this loss took into account the low payment compliance rate of e-toll accounts.

Kannemeyer said the average compliance rate for e-toll payments was about 19.58% in the three months before the Covid-19 lockdown.

He revealed the subsequent e-toll payment compliance rates:

  • 19.78% in March
  • 22.96% in April
  • 19.54% in May
  • 18.63% in June
  • 18.45% in July

Sanral previously confirmed that the compliance rate for e-toll payments was at 21.33% in February 2020, compared with 22.75% in February 2019.

Kannemeyer said there was an average of 75 million transactions a month at all the e-toll gantries in the almost three months prior to the implementation of the Covid-19 lockdown on March 27.

He said traffic levels on the GFIP declined to 25% of the normal average during Level 5 of the lockdown – increasing to 45-55% in Level 4, 70% in Level 3, and 80% to 85% of normal levels in Level 2.

Cancelled tender

Sanral general manager communications Vusi Mona confirmed in March that the decision by Sanral’s board to cancel the original tender for the continued management of e-tolls was informed by a review of the assurance documents from Sanral’s legal and internal audit departments, plus expert advice provided by the independent advisor to the board’s audit and risk committee.

The cancellation of the tender, which was then in the process of being adjudicated, followed Sanral confirming on March 12 that its contract with Electronic Tolling Collections for the management of e-tolls on the GFIP had been extended until December 2020.

One of the reasons cited by Sanral for this extension was to allow for the tender process to be concluded.

Revised tender

The reissued tender contains some changes to the eligibility criteria for tenderers.

The original tender said only tenders with a B-BBEE contributor status level of 1, 2, 3 or 4, are eligible to tender and tenderers or each member of a joint venture must be registered on the National Treasury Central Supplier Database at the closing date for tender submissions.

The reissued tender has the same B-BBEE requirements but tenderers are also required to have:

  • An ownership structure where at least 51% is owned by South African entities;
  • Experience of at least one similar project, but not necessarily a toll project, to the value of at least R300 million; and
  • Relevant financial standing to execute the project.

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So what do you do with a failing business??? Give them billions more in tenders to spend and become BROKER !!!! Sounds like inept strategy to me.

I’m sure they will improve their strategy, and ‘mobilise’ a few billion for SANRAL!!!

No government department or parastatal can be called a business. A business has to make a profit, or go out of business. This doesn’t apply to the likes of Sanral. They will keep getting bailed out, so they’re more of a charity recipient than a business.

Typical — A total failure to learn anything — Utterly stupid and incompetent !!!
This also means that 81.55% of persons who did not pay e tolls in July are willing to break the law — THIS IS THE SCARY PART !!!

Government officials, cops, MPs, and the ANC as a whole break the law all the time, with no consequences whatsoever. Why shouldn’t we?

Sjoe! With all those screens being monitored they have no excuse for such poor information on their digital traffic information boards on the side of the tolled highways. Pre-lockdown the information boards frequently flagged traffic hold ups when there were none or failed to flag traffic jams.

They should consider adding a time stamp to the content of the notice boards e.g. last checked 8h15, though this is not cadre-proof.

During lockdown they got the Covid-19 hotline number right. Now that lock down is easing they should also consider adding, during quiet time, interesting Gauteng statistics e.g. corruption conviction rate, Rand value of auditor general determined wasteful an irregular expenditure, days to the next national and local election, number of MECs in and out the country, attendance % at MEC meetings, % of MECs whose e-Toll bills are up to date etc

And so, dear reader, we now have proof of what a lying and cheating bunch scamral is. Do you still remember those days when they stated that those not paying is by far the minority and you should reconsider as the majority is happy paying into the scamral coffers? Numbers don’t lie, in contrast to scamral.

revenue per day is irrelevent if collection is only 20%. I can also sell a product no-one pays for and show huge revenues. Officials are confused on the difference between the income statement and cash flow statement.

Would one add 18.45% to the 57.5% that voted ANC, to get a measure of average stupidity?

End of comments.

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