R/€ = 15.41Change: -0.09
R/$ = 13.53Change: -0.08
Au 1174.28 $/ozChange: 8.93
Pt 990.00 $/ozChange: 0.00
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?

And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
Jun 15, 2012

The intriguing silence of business on user-pay principle

Africa|Defence|Environment|India|Projects|System|Waste|Africa|China|South Africa|United States|E-toll|Media Briefings|Infrastructure|Pravin Gordhan|Waste
© Reuse this

It is interesting that business, which has expressed genuine concern about the dominant role being played by government and State-owned companies in the R845-billion infrastructure roll-out, has not joined government in vociferously defending the user-pay principle.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has been left to lead the defence through court papers, as well as during media briefings relating to the proposed implementation of an electronic toll collection system to secure fees from users to pay for Gauteng’s upgraded motorways.

For him, it is about ensuring that the country does not foreclose on any of the possible options available to fund an investment programme that is arguably emerging as South Africa’s main growth engine in a context of serious global economic uncertainty.

Without doubt, the outlook in many European economies, which remain key trading partners, appears to have worsened materially over the past few months and many believe any economic recovery could involve five to ten years of painful convalescence. Growth rates in countries such as China and India are also slowing and there is also rising concern that the so-called 2013 ‘fiscal cliff’ in the US could put that vital economy, and by extension the rest of us, even further on to the back foot.

Gordhan has, thus, called for the e-toll emotion to be set aside and for South Africans to grasp that there are only “limited sources of funding from which we can pay for the things we desire”. User charges, he asserts, are a crucial element and have to be included in a mix that also comprises direct fiscal allocations, debt raising and public–private partnerships (PPPs).

“It is very important that the principle of user-pay and of user chargers is not undermined through this process and through the emotion, and that we are able to sustain our ambition to provide the kind of infrastructure that will impact positively not only on our economic potential, but also on the environment in which our people live,” Gordhan has argued.

One would have thought that organised business would have jumped to support Gordhan in this, particularly given that business is the champion of the PPP concept and PPPs can generally only take place in an environment where a user-pay ethos prevails.

Instead, business has been all but silent, having been seemingly swayed by those elements within its structures that prefer a payment method premised on adding to the overall tax burden.

Such a reaction is arguably only natural, given the vitriol surrounding e-tolling. But business organisations should not be surprised by future backlashes against PPP projects that will, no doubt, be premised on the user-pay principle.

Possibly, business has reached this seemingly contradictory position owing to the breakdown of the trust relationship between it and govern- ment.

Business has lost faith in government’s ability to deliver on its policy, is frustrated by the lack of PPP progress and is angry at the high level of waste and corruption surrounding the public sector and its projects.

In other words, a mist of mistrust has descended and instead of seeking to see through it, business has opted to settle into an oppositional stance that may well undermine its long-term interests.

Edited by: Terence Creamer
Creamer Media Editor
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Editorial Insight News
Three international reports released over the past couple of weeks have a material bearing on the South African economy and are, thus, worth highlighting. First, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a study that assessed the implications of the current...
Article contains comments
The head of the African National Congress’ Economic Transformation Committee Enoch Godongwana has urged organised black business to sharpen its arguments with regard to how the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (PPPFA) could be made more supportive of...
Article contains comments
There has been scant information flow out of South Africa’s electricity war room, which was set up in December to deal with the country’s power crisis. It was interesting, therefore, to hear a recent report back from Professor Anton Eberhard, who has access to the...
Latest News
Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti
Agri SA is calling for urgent clarification of the correct wording and interpretation of the governing party’s decision, whereby the 50/50 proposal, which requires farmers to hand over half their land to their workers, has been accepted as African National Congress...
South Africa should not be allowed to create new coal-fired power stations if it is to tackle its carbon emissions and meet the global goal of keeping temperature increases below 2 °C, says South African environmental and antinuclear organisation Earthlife Africa...
Integrated information and communications technology (ICT) systems provider Datacentrix has lifted earnings attributable to shareholders for the six months ended August 31, by 15.4% to R54.5-million and headline earnings per share (HEPS) by 14% to 27.7c, benefitting...
Recent Research Reports
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
This Week's Magazine
Engen Driver Wellness, the mobile health awareness initiative, continues to make a tangible difference to the lives of the country’s bulk truck operators with increased driver participation in voluntary screenings and improved health scores. Now in its fifth year,...
BUSINESS LEADERS PANEL Adam Craker, Ivor Chipkin, Alan Hosking and Allon Raiz at the 6th IQ Business Active Growth conference
At the sixth IQ Business conference held in Sandton last month, a panel of business leaders and academics advocated that business reclaims the initiative to spur growth in South Africa amid fragmented and haphazard political direction. Management consulting firm IQ...
The building industry is an essential component of the South African economy as it contributes about 15% to the gross fixed investment that drives the economy. However, with the country’s economy going through a tough time currently, this, in turn, reflects on the...
The recipients of the 2015 South African National Energy Association (Sanea)/South African National Energy Development Institute Energy (Sanedi) Awards were announced at a ceremony and banquet in Sandton last month. Sanea chairperson Brian Statham named Exxaro CEO...
ASHER BOHBOT EOH’s corporate goals were originally aspirations, but the company is relevant and is making a difference in the territories it operates in
As South African information technology (IT) firm EOH posted another full year of strong growth, CEO Asher Bohbot, known for his frank words, people-centric management style and stoic humanism, attributed the company’s continued South African and African growth to...
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96