E-toll millions not 'propaganda' - Sanral
Anti-e-toll factions say Sanral's e-toll advertising spend is ludicrous, and a waste of taxpayers' money. The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) says all e-toll-related advertising has been essential – and for the Democratic Alliance (DA) to criticise its increased advertising spend is hypocritical. This follows a statement by the DA yesterday that Sanral’s advertising spend has increased sharply since the announcement of the e-tolling system.
The DA says Sanral has changed its tactics from an awareness campaign to, more recently, “mass e-toll propaganda”. The party says full-page and half-page advertisements have appeared in most national newspapers, “falsely arguing against alternative funding mechanisms for road maintenance and infrastructure, such as a fuel levy”.
Over the past year, Sanral has advertised via – among others – SABC, eTV and DSTV on the television front; Jacaranda, Yfm, Kaya, Highveld, Metro, 5fm, and Ukhozi radio stations; and the Sunday Times, Sunday World, City Press, Rapport, Sunday Sun, Beeld, Citizen, Sowetan, The Star, The New Age, Pretoria News, Soweto Times, Business Day, Financial Mail, more than 10 Johannesburg and Pretoria community newspapers – and publications spanning SA’s Cape, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal provinces in terms of print media. Sanral spokesperson Vusi Mona has defended the extensive campaign, saying all e-toll-related advertising has consisted purely of messaging that is either essential for compliance, or in direct response to questions by the public about costs and financing.
He refutes the notion that the state-owned entity has changed its tactics since government made the e-toll announcement. All other advertising, says Mona, is intended to convey the mechanics of tag acquisition, registration and payment, as well as to give road users some indication of the likely costs.
He further notes that Sanral’s advertising spend includes all of the entity’s pillars of operation, both toll and non-toll. But the DA has dubbed Sanral’s advertising campaign “tacky spin” – a statement Mona says escapes him.
Mona says the DA’s statement is a textbook case of the “pot calling the kettle black”. He says: “Any new initiative such as e-tolling will accrue an increased advertising spend, as it must be supported through marketing.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at ITWeb