Austrian firm cashes in on Gauteng tolls

Johannesburg - An Austrian company that won the bid to build and operate Gauteng's e-tolling system made R1.2bn 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 R1.2bn in South Africa from traffic and parking fines and sales of e-tags. This year's report has 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 R75m. 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.

Congress of SA Trade Unions 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.

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Wayne Schaefer 2012-03-20 08:52:56 AM
Once again Africa is being raped... When will we wake up and look after our own???
piet.pompies.56808 2012-03-20 08:59:35 AM
So much for Africa not being colonised again. I will NOT get an E-tag, the ANC can kiss their pensions goodbye!
IAnon Ym 2012-03-20 09:00:23 AM
My head starts to spin reading all these numbers.
Hentie Gildenhuys 2012-03-20 09:03:21 AM
The ANC has sold out this country to the highest bidder. People only a coward would register for an e-tag and only a full would use the toll road in anything other than an emergency, The money made by Kapsch Traffic-Com's would suggest we have an over abundance of both, or is the truth just a little simpler, that we have sold our souls to government and no longer have the manhood to take back what is rightfully ours. The choice is yours, either your government serves you or you will continue to serve it.
Seja Skatana 2012-03-20 09:07:36 AM
...well our own have sold us out, TMT decided to take R75m after winning the tender and now the whole operation is Austrian controlled!!
Keith Bateman 2012-03-20 09:09:03 AM
Double standards apply in this government's thinking. We spend massive energy fighting the Massmart transaction but allow this. I say that all road users in Gauteng should park their cars on the toll roads until the government understands that we have paid enough towards lining the pockets of cronies and crooks.
Nico Barkhuizen 2012-03-20 09:10:31 AM
I am quite sure TMT belonged to an ANC cadre or ten?
makgoana.mamabolo 2012-03-20 09:13:59 AM
I will never pay for an already existing road that was there before 1994, built with my tax money. I promise to only use the old lanes, so I see no need to pay. Come 2014 some people are going to be punished. I am going to vote for the DA just to spite them and I will encourage everyone I know to do the same. Some people better get their CVs ready, because the unemployment line beckons.
paul.john.790256q 2012-03-20 09:18:08 AM
Kapsch should be charged with BEE fronting and the contract cancelled. Simple.
Juan Prinsloo 2012-03-20 09:19:57 AM
This is disgusting. I wonder what sort of private kickbacks are involved between our ANC cadres and this Austrian comany