Urban development

OUTA Slams New e-Toll Tariffs

The new e-toll tariffs kicked in on Thursday, 2 July 2015, but only about seven percent of freeway users will benefit from the new rates, according to opponents of the scheme.

Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) chairperson, Wayne Duvenage, says while the cap had been halved, this reduction would not affect more than 93 percent of freeway users.

COSATU Slams New e-Toll Dispensation

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has rejected the latest revised e-toll tariffs.
 
COSATU says it will be going back to the streets to campaign against the system, which it believes is a form of privatisation of public goods.
 
COSATU acting general secretary, Bheki Ntsalintsali, says the revised tariffs are meant to deceive road users. "The question of e-tolls being made cheaper for now, we feel it would be made expensive later, this is a sugar-coated pill."
 

e-Tolls Here to Stay, Says Ramaphosa

South Africa’s deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has announced that the unpopular user-pays e-toll system is here to stay - but fees will be cut in half.

Ramaphosa, who announced that a monthly cap for light motor vehicles will be reduced from R450 to R225, says that e-toll fees will be linked to licence renewals – so that motorists cannot get their car discs unless they have paid their e-toll bills.

In announcing the revised e-tolls repayment method, Ramaphosa confirmed that the e-tolls are here to stay and that all the previously unpaid bills will have to be settled.

Sustainable Housing Still a Problem: Sisulu

Human Settlements Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, has reiterated that government is building RDP houses for South African citizens and not just for foreign nationals.

Sisulu says housing in South Africa has caused many problems over the years and this been worsened by foreign nationals coming into South Africa and buying RDP houses that are meant for South African citizens at a fraction of the price.

Makhura: E-tolls Critical for JHB Roads

Gauteng premier, David Makhura, says the money collected from e-tolls is essential in upgrading Johannesburg’s transport infrastructure.

Makhura points out that, “The financing of that infrastructure is important,” adding that “Contributions by residents of our province is important, but we have always said that issues of affordability … [should be addressed so consumers] are not over burdened with debt.”

“That’s why we’ve been looking at the issue of e-tolls to reduce the burden and make it more affordable for people to be able to pay,” he adds.

New Campaign to Reduce Child Fatalities on the Road

The Western Cape provincial transport department has launched a new campaign aimed at reducing child accidents and fatalities on the road.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) ‚ road deaths are now the leading cause of premature deaths among young people globally and road traffic injury being the leading cause of death for children aged 5 and 14 in South Africa.

European Countries Focus Aid on ex-Colonies

France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Portugal - former Europe’s biggest imperial powers - are spending the bulk of their Official Development Assistance (ODA) budgets on their former colonies.

According to the latest data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the top seven countries French receiving Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) are Morocco, China, Vietnam, the Cote d’Ivoire, Colombia, Senegal and Kenya.

42 000 Jobs in the Last Quarter of 2014

A total of 42 000 new formal jobs were created in the fourth quarter last year outside the agricultural sector.
 
The figures released by Statistics South Africa (STATS SA) put the number of employed individuals at almost nine million.
 
The stats indicates that South Africa is still moving at a snail's pace in creating new jobs adding that majority of the jobs are not sustainable.
 

Smartphones and Internet Boost Farming

Wider smartphone and Internet access has allowed technology firms to reach remote African farmers with apps providing veterinary diagnoses, crop planting guidance and virtual marketplaces.
 
The growth of Africa's middle-class combined with a fall in the prices of technology has opened up opportunities for investment in farms on the world's poorest continent.
 
Africa's farms have failed to cash in because of a lack of access to infrastructure, training, capital and rapidly advancing technology.
 

Govt to Adjust e-Toll Tariffs Downwards

Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene, says the e-toll tariffs will be adjusted downwards but government remains committed to the principle of road users funding improvements to keep the South African National Roads Agency Limited solvent.

Delivering his 2015/16 national budget in the National Assembly, Nene stated that: "Concerns regarding the socio-economic impact of toll tariffs have been heard, and revised monthly ceilings will shortly be proposed."

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