Additional Support for the Rangers

Press release issued 06-12-2012

SAVRALA as an organisation has always been very conscious of its social responsibility and has for years encouraged members to open their hearts and their wallets.

This year SAVRALA’s charity of choice was the SANParks Honorary Rangers, as well as the award-winning Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Organisation. Both the SANParks Honorary Rangers and Ezemvelo are volunteer charity organisations that are heavily involved in preventing rhino poaching as well as all other areas of conservation.

Having already raised an impressive R100 000 at SAVRALA’s Golf Day on 22 February 2012 at the beautiful Blue Valley Golf Course in Midrand, SAVRALA managed to raise an additional R7 100 on the eve of their annual Manufacturer of the Year (MOTY) Awards held on Friday, 26 October 2012.

The cheque for the second contribution was handed to David Webster, chairperson of the Johannesburg region of the Rangers, at the last SAVRALA NEC (National Executive Committee) meeting by the new incoming President, Marc Corcoran. SAVRALA were in turn presented with a certificate by the Honorary Rangers for their involvement in the worthy cause of saving the rhino and in recognition of their generous contribution.

OUTA Legal Case overview and Thanks

29 Nov 2012

Dear OUTA SUPPORTERS

Wednesday 28 November hopefully marked the end of a long and much tougher challenge than we initially envisaged, after setting out in March to put a legal halt to the eTolling of Gauteng’s Freeways
I say so feeling confident that we have put up an excellent challenge in court against SANRAL, Treasury and the Department of Transport’s respective legal teams this week. While there were many aspects about the eToll matter that are very wrong and are included in our legal challenge (being the high costs, inefficiency, lack of alternative transport and routes, enforcement, compliance, environmental matters and unworkability etc), our legal team felt it prudent to focus our energy in the review on the illegal nature of SANRAL’s shockingly poor public engagement process. Our arguments went deep into interpretation of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (PAJA), combined with the Constitution and how Section 27 of the Sanral Act needed to be taken in the context of these laws.
Our case has exposed how SANRAL largely ignored their legal duties to conduct full and proper public consultations on their plan to toll the GFIP, largely under the guise of a ticking ‘Soccer World Cup’ clock. The simple matter is, unless the authorities conduct themselves properly in the ‘public engagement space’, they run the risk of a backlash from citizens, which is precisely why these laws exist, the ignorance of which is being currently expressed by the public outrage and threats of civil disobedience. We have deemed SANRAL’s conduct as sufficiently unlawful and as such, their eToll plans need to be set aside and the process to be properly and legally re-engaged.
Over the past few months, when studying eToll project successes and failures around the world, we find a high correlation with society’s acceptance or rejection of these schemes being based on confidence and trust obtained through excellent public engagement on matters pertaining to reasonability of tariffs, alternative transport options, alternative routes, efficiency and good communication. Without these elements in place to bring society on board, tolling has (and will continue to) fail around the world, even in more disciplined first world environments. Every one of these elements was missing in the plan to toll the GFIP and even if the legal case rules in SANRAL’s favour, the current eTolling plan for Gauteng will be extremely difficult, if not impossible to implement. The truth be told, SANRAL is still unable implement eTolls – some 19 months after the first planned launch date of April 2011, despite their statement in the Constitutional Court in September 2012 that they will launch within two weeks of the interdict being set aside. There is a saying: “Laws are only as good as they are implementable and governable.” In this matter, both implementation and governance will be hurdles too high to jump. We sincerely trust the authorities will be able to acknowledge this sooner rather than later, whatever the legal outcome.
Win or lose in court, I’d like to acknowledge the dedication and tireless work of Marc Corcoran and Adrian d’Oliviera (Jnr Counsel) in getting us to where we are today. Pieter Conradie, Rebecca Thompson, Paul Pauwen, Alistair Franklin, Alfred Cockrel, Kelvin Buchannan and the skilful input of Adv Mike Maritz in the review hearings were all naturally very important and integral to the journey. It would be remiss of me not to also thank the members of SAVRALA, who provided the necessary and significant funding to get the case started, along with the RMI, QASA, SANCU, SATSA and AA, all of whom added immense weight to this cause, in conjunction with over 2300 individuals, families, small businesses and a few larger organisations who contributed to the funding of OUTA’s legal costs – a matter which is still not complete. We plead that business and the public continue to contribute to our legal costs at www.outa.co.za.
We will know the outcome in a few weeks and intend deal therewith and resultant decisions / actions by the respondents, at that time. What is however known, is that this challenge was sincere and meaningfully undertaken to protect our rights as citizens of South Africa.

Wayne Duvenage
OUTA Chairperson

OUTA urges public participation at E-Toll Tarriffs sessions

The Department of Transport and SANRAL will be holding three public engagement sessions this week to at which they will be presenting on the e-Toll Exemptions and Tariff regulations and where the public are able to also hand in written submissions and raise questions / concerns.

OUTA urges the public to attend these Public information sessions on the e-Toll regulations at one of the following venues listed below. These opportunities for society engagement should not be overlooked or ignored and we encourage an expression of views to the authorities on the excessive rates and processes related to e-Tolls.

Tue 13 November 2012 Wed 14 November 2012 Thu 15 November 2012
The Premier Hotel
73 Gladiator Street
Rhodesfield
Kempton Park
18h00
CSIR
Meiring Naude Road
Brummeria
Pretoria
18h00
The Focus Rooms
The Core, 1st Floor South
Cnr. Kikuyu & Leeuwkop Str
Sunninghill
18h00

Issued by Wayne Duvenage
OUTA Chairperson

Volkswagen Dominate MOTY 2012 Awards

Members of the Southern African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (SAVRALA) gathered at a gala banquet in Sandton on the evening of Friday, 26th of October 2012, to honour and celebrate the crowning of the 2012 SAVRALA Motor Manufacturer of the Year (MOTY), a milestone event that began some 18 years ago in 1995. MOTY has become the benchmark for vehicle manufacturers and importers who supply vehicles to both the car rental and car leasing sectors, where they are rated and judged by the industry on a range of criteria, from build quality, parts and service supply, communication and value, in order to win the coveted SAVRALA MOTY award.

Outgoing President Keri Kirsten, reminded guests of some of the highlights and challenges of the motoring industry in the past year and the challenges that both the industry and the motorist had to face in our country, including the e-Toll saga and the ongoing fuel price increases.

Keri Kirsten also used the opportunity to introduce the new incoming NEC (National Executive Committee) of SAVRALA under the leadership of Marc Corcoran, who had been elected earlier that day at the AGM (Annual General Meeting) held at the Johannesburg Country Club.

SAVRALA’s new NEC for 2012/2013 voted in at the AGM are:
President – Marc Corcoran (Avis)
Vice President – Dawn Nathan-ones (Europcar)
Chairman – Rental – Georg Corbett (Europcar)
Vice Chairman – Rental – Grenville Salmon (Pace)
Chairman – Leasing – Vernen Pillay (Absa)
Vice Chairman – Leasing – Warren Peters (Wesbank)

As a responsible association, the evenings guests were reminded of the successes of their community investment initiative held earlier this year at the Blue Valley Golf course, which raised an impressive R100 000 towards wildlife conservation, supporting the heroic efforts of the SANParks Honorary Rangers, as well as the award-winning Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Organisation. Both the SANParks Honorary Rangers and Ezemvelo are volunteer charity organisations that are heavily involved in preventing rhino poaching as well as all other areas of conservation.

As the award presentation grew closer, excitement ran high amongst manufacturer’s tables with them eagerly awaiting the announcements of the evening’s winners, a trophy much prized by the industry.This year was no exception to this phenomenon and there were once again surprising shifts amongst the brands that ultimately walked away with the silverware.A new award was also added this year, namely ‘Best Manufacturer’s Technical Representative’ which is an indication of what has

become important to both the rental and leasing industries when it comes to gaining a competitive edge over their competition. One thing for certain was that service delivery and unwavering support to their clients ranked amongst the top criteria of the winners.

SAVRALA extends their congratulations to all 2012 MOTY winners:

Manufacturer of the Year Leasing Gold: Volkswagen South Africa
Manufacturer of the Year Leasing Silver: Hyundai Automotive South Africa
Manufacturer of the Year Leasing Bonze: Nissan South Africa

Manufacturer of the Year Rental Gold: Volkswagen South Africa
Manufacturer of the Year Rental Silver: General Motors South Africa
Manufacturer of the Year Rental Bonze: Hyundai Automotive South Africa

Most Improved Leasing: Audi South Africa
Most Improved Rental: General Motors South Africa
Overall Most Improved: Audi South Africa

Overall Manufacturer of the Year Gold: Volkswagen South Africa
Overall Manufacturer of the Year Silver: Hyundai Automotive Motors South Africa
Overall Manufacturer of the Year Bonze: General Motors South Africa

Best Account Executive Leasing: Faan Fourie from Toyota SA Motors (Pty) Ltd
Best Account Executive Rental: Carin Delport from Toyota SA Motors (Pty) Ltd

Best Manufacturer’s Technical Representative Leasing: Lutendo Mudau – Volkswagen South Africa
Best Manufacturer’s Technical Representative Rental: Gareth Tiffin – General Motors South Africa

NOW FOR ANOTHER TAX ON MOTORISTS & FLEETS – TYRES

It goes without saying that the REDISA (Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of SA) levy on tyres, indicated at R2.30 for every kilogram of tyre purchased, is another tax on the motorist and transport industry in SA. The reason, we are told, is to introduce a tyre recycling initiative which will (a) create jobs and (b) reduce waste tyres piling up in the environment, both of which are great reasons on the face of it, but what lies behind the plan?

First of all, there is a cost to the road user. Secondly, the Retail Motor Industry body (RMI) have lodged a legal challenge to the plan saying this was initially devised by the industry by their Tyre Dealers association and was then ‘hijacked’ by a previous industry employee to manage the process through a new organisation. More worrying is the fact that this is a regulated (government backed) levy, being passed on to a private organisation, to manage a process which does not have the support of the tyre industry association.

There is a view that recycling initiatives of this nature should be self-funding i.e. no add-on cost to the consumer. That the recycling of tyre should be a free standing business venture and that market forces should be allowed to play out. So why has this not been the case to date? Surely there is a business case and need for content (in whichever shape or form) of used tyre product? And if so, what will happen when a new tyre recycling organisation approaches the tyre dealers to ‘take their used tyres for recycling at zero cost (i.e. no levy)’? Will this compel the tyre dealer to save costs for the consumer and break the law by refusing to participate in the government regulated plan?

SAVRALA raises its concern when regulations do not have the backing of industry and urges alternate / more appropriate mechanisms be sought through deeper engagement by all involved. Top of mind should always be the consumer and the solutions sought, should ultimately not cost the overstretched tax payer one Rand more, lest this be seen as another tax (al-la-plastic bags) that will probably defeat the purpose for which it is intended, with a handful of participants getting rich at the expense of the road user.

Keri Kirsten
SAVRALA President

OUTA ADAMANT – E-TOLLS ARE WRONG FOR SA

OUTA PRESS RELEASE – 5 Oct 2012


Judging from comments by the Minister of Transport urging the public to purchase e-Tags and other communication being sent out by SANRAL this week, it is clear that Government intends to launch e-tolling before the court review in November.

Having filed its replying affidavit on Monday, OUTA is now even more adamant that the decision to toll the Gauteng freeway upgrade (GFIP) was a poor decision taken by the authorities. “Since having access to the ETC contract, for which we had to sign a confidentiality agreement, our expert transport economist’s assessment of the numbers and efficiency of e-Tolls has revealed that the plan suffers from oversights and is a most inefficient manner in which to fund the R17bn freeway upgrade” says Wayne Duvenage, Chairperson of OUTA.

We expect the IMC to announce their e-Toll plans sometime this weekend or next week, wherein we envisage they will further reduce the e-toll tariffs as well as the capped maximum charge, as they go on the charm offensive to woo the public into believing this is the best option. We also believe their announcement will include the acceptance of e-Tolling by a few entities that were originally opposed to the plan.

OUTA firmly opposes the application of e-Tolling under the veil of ‘user pay’. Given the structure of our economy and the need to support those who lack many of the basic services, it is important that we apply the most cost efficient and effective funding methods.

The reality however is that you can’t be “half pregnant” on e-Tolls. You either e-toll or you don’t. A lesser amount of the wrong method doesn’t make it any more right. According to Clif Johnston of the SA National Consumer Union “The cost of collection and the bureaucratic burden it will place on society are independent of the actual amount charged per kilometre (km). Indeed, as the toll rate per km falls, the collection costs become an increasingly larger percentage of the amount collected”.

“This is the ultimate tragedy of the plan” says Johnson, “being that the road user will still have to foot the bill of more than R1,1bn per annum to cover the electronic toll collection process, regardless of how much they reduce the toll rate and cross subsidise the revenue required with fuel levies and / or the national fiscus mechanisms”.

Gary Ronald, CEO of the AA says “we are concerned about why the contracts still remain confidential. The public, who are ultimately expected to pay the fees, should be given full view of the entire contract. Until now, all we have seen are few tables from the authorities which vary substantially in the costs and projected revenues, casting serious doubt regarding the authenticity and accuracy of these figures”.

Duvenage says “The e-Toll plans are a most inequitable and inefficient ‘user pays’ process and the 8:1 Benefit to Cost ratio for users is a gross over exaggeration and has failed under expert examination. We continue to emphasise that, as per Government’s own documents, transfers from the fiscus and receipts from a fuel levy remain the most cost efficient way of raising funds. What’s more, these methods are included in government policy for revenue generation toward road infrastructure development. Adding to the injustice is a lack of the (planned) upgrading of public transport in Gauteng, which will eventually offer both road users and the general public a reliable, safe and efficient alternative to owing a private vehicle”.

Michael Tatalias, CEO of the SA Tourism Services Association (SATSA) says that “forcing e-Tolling onto the citizens of SA is a gross injustice and implies that citizen’s intellect is being taken for granted by the authorities, that they are unable to detect when a planned revenue / tax collection system is a waste of their hard earned money and time. COSATU’s warnings to government were expected and reflects the strong disquiet within both Gauteng and nationally at the prospect of a national e-Tolling roll out. It is clear that Government should not err by discounting the extent of dissatisfaction with the GFIP e-Tolling plan”.

Ari Seiris, CEO of the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA), continues to be concerned for his members who were not consulted during the planning of e-Tolling and are largely unable to use alternative public transport due to its lack of accessibility, convenience and reliability. Whilst a solution is currently being sought for people with disabilities, the last proposed tariff structure and policy makes no accommodation for those without transport but who rely on the generosity of many private individuals to transport them around Gauteng, often using the network of highways.

OUTA has always said it is willing to pay for the GFIP and other national transport infrastructure projects which benefit the country as they are both much needed and long overdue but not via e-Tolling. OUTA remains confident that the November judicial review of the decision to implement e-Tolling will be a strong challenge against the unjust plan.

END

Wayne Duvenage


ADDRESS: P O Box 2627, Northriding, 2162
DIRECTORS: Wayne Duvenage (Chairperson), Michael Tatalias (Vice Chairperson), Paul Pauwen (Secretary)
COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Ari Seirlis, Clif Johnston, Jeff Osborne, Marc Corcoran
COMPANY REGISTRATION:  2012/064213/08
WEB SITE: www.outa.co.za

OPPOSITION TO URBAN TOLLING ALLIANCE

South African consumers set up to take a battering / A call to action

SA NATIONAL CONSUMERS UNION

Press Release

The South African National Consumer Union reports that the current pressures on motorists, and road users is becoming intolerable.

  • Firstly the Fuel Price is unabated in its upward momentum over R10 per litre for Unleaded Fuel (93 and 95), and yet the relevant Ministries are reluctant to pass on the benefits of the 2007 Windfall Tax to consumers – capital plus up to R1,50 discount per litre eligible for Gauteng and Mpumalanga consumers.
  • The second threat is the introduction of outrageous Recycling Levies on Tyres (new, used, reconditioned, imported or local) – hardly any attention has been paid to the real cost of delivery of this new ‘service’ – up to R150 per set of 4 tyres from Friday
  • Finally the etolling saga has not passed away – whilst SANCU petitioned directly and indirectly about the terms and conditions and administrative costs surrounding the SANRAL contracts, Gauteng consumers in particular remain super critical about this new taxation on a road system that should be covered in the first instance by the fuel levy, but could be easily covered in any case by the differential between South Africa producer price of liquid fuels, as opposed to imported fuels – The current SANRAL/TREASURY proposal can cost up to R550 per month for some consumers

In fact as the Mossgas project rolls out South Africa’s reliance on imported ‘barrels of oil’ should lessen and the price for coastal consumers can be reviewed

Gauteng and Mpumalanga consumers in particular are advised to continue supporting the efforts of OUTA – Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (see www.outa.co.za), and notify their Parliamentary representatives of their difficulties to keep funding more and more extraneous ‘road user’ costs that have no substance to reality.

Ends…………

Issued by

Tutti Rudman
Chairman,  SA National Consumers Union

Contact person
Nick Tselentis : 083 325 9704

SAVRALA hands over R100 000 in support of local wildlife conservation

SAVRALA hands over R100 000 in support of local wildlife conservation

Following a highly successful Annual Golf Day, the South African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (SAVRALA) raised R100 000 in support of its nominated charities, the SANParks Honorary Rangers and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Organisation.

“These volunteer organisations are dedicated to local wildlife conservation and need all of the support they can get to continue the vital work that they do. Both are involved in the fight against rhino poaching, something which has become a national crisis, and have done much to further awareness and education around conservation in South Africa,” says Paul Pauwen from SAVRALA.

The SANParks Honorary Rangers is the official SANParks volunteer organisation. They are an association of over 1000 dedicated volunteers across the country who help SANParks in a variety of areas and fulfil several vital tasks. These tasks include assisting at entry gates, raising funds for counter poaching activities, assisting in visitor management, and giving specialist advice on infrastructure and scientific projects. Officially associated in 1964, these volunteers have significantly contributed to all areas of conservation, public awareness and support of SANParks’ activities. They are also actively involved in the on-going war against rhino poaching, and contribute funds in support of SANParks activities such as counter poaching and nature conservation.

The Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Organisation is internationally recognised for its white rhino and sea turtle conservation and community conservation programmes. With more than 100 years of formal conservation, the organisation has won several awards for dedication to the protection of the biodiversity in the Kwa-Zulu Natal. The organisation also promotes education in conservation as well as eco-tourism. Preserving the unique eco-systems, plants and animals that form part of this region is essential in bringing visitors to the region, which in turn is vital for South Africa’s economic growth.

The cheque was handed over by Paul Pauwen from SAVRALA (centre), and was accepted on behalf of the beneficiaries by Dave Webster (left) and Felix Ernst (right).

“SAVRALA is a proud supporter of the South African tourist industry, and one of our country’s major draw cards is our wildlife. Both the SANParks Honorary Rangers and Ezemvelo work tirelessly to ensure that the natural beauty of South Africa will be preserved for future generations, helping to draw tourists to our country for years to come. We are pleased to be able to hand over the money we raised as a result of our golf day, thanks to the generosity of the players and hole sponsors on the day,” Paul from SAVRALA concludes.