OUTA’s eToll Challenge – Wayne Duvenage

NOeToll(…and an insight into Active Citizenry

The topic of eTolling in South Africa is widley discussed and debated across all sectors of South African society.  Looking back, prior to the Soccer World Cup of 2010, SANRAL was the hero of Gauteng, widening the freeways and upgrading the interchanges to get our congested cites moving again.  Shortly after the visitors had left our shores, the visibility of the 45 gantries began to emerge, one by one around the city, and the outcry began.

In July 2012, after 5 years as the Chief Executive of Avis, Wayne Duvenage resigned from formal employment at Avis, as well as his positions as President of SAVRALA (SA Vehicle Renting & Leasing Association) and Board Member of TBCSA (Tourism Business Council SA), to spend more time working on OUTA’s challenge, which by mid 2012, had all but consumed his full time and attention.

Wayne led the alliance’s campaign,which successfully interdicted the introduction of the system in April 2012.  But the game changed and a long drawn out court challenge saw the alliance run out of funds and the decision to abandon the legal process.  This however, is not the end of the challenge, which intensifies into a new space of active citizenry.

Wayne’s presentation on Sanral’s eToll debacle and how OUTA was formed to drive not only a legal challenge but also, a successful social media campaign against the Government’s plan, has seen this effort become the country’s largest public funded legal case against Government in our new democracy, raising over R11,5million in 18 months.

His talk highlights numerous serious and shocking issues relating to Government’s approval of the ill-conceived eToll plan and why it was necessary to develop a thrust of active citizenry on this matter.  Could this challenge become the catalyst that galvanizes society within our changing democracy?  What is the state of Acitive Citizenship in SA?  Why does Government have such a strong hold over Corporate entities?  What should ordinary citizens do?

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