“This is good news. Sanral can now get on with its business – to build, maintain and improve South Africa’s national road network. We now have certainty as to when tolling on the inner Gauteng highways can begin. Sanral can now service the debt it had incurred to upgrade these vital roads,” said Nazir Alli, the chief executive of the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral).
“The tolling system is up and running at the moment and we therefore expect a smooth beginning to actually collecting tolls on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP). It is important to note that of the more than 700,000 km of roads in the country, only 19,704 are part of the national network and thus Sanral’s responsibility. Of the latter only 16 per cent are tolled.”
The Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters announced today that tolling on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project would begin in December.
There has been considerable opposition to the e-tolling system from the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa), with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) also urging motorists to resist buying the e-tags.
“The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted with anger the announcement that e-tolls will be implemented on Gauteng highways on 3 December 2013 and reaffirms its continued total opposition to this attempt to privatise our public roads, and force us to pay to travel on roads we have already paid for through taxes and the fuel levy,” said Patrick Craven, the national spokesperson for Cosatu.
Alli however advised motorists to pay attention to how much of the roads are actually being tolled because those figures are important in keeping a proper perspective.
“Of the tolled roads, only 201 km form part of the GFIP. With all uncertainty out of the way, motorists are encouraged to obtain an e-tag. It is the right thing to do and also easier and cheaper than using the roads without a tag,” he said.