Sanral still needs public's acceptance of e-tolling system in S.Africa


“I don’t think I’ll be registering for that. First of all, it was done without consultation of the citizens of South Africa. I believe as government for people, before you do anything, you need to consult the citizens. It’s completely out of line and I wouldn’t sign for it,” a member of the public said.    

President Zuma signed the controversial e-tolling bill into law this week, which has thrown a spanner into the works for the Opposition for Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa), which has been trying to garnering support for its abolishment.  

Members of the public have also rejected the implementation of the system since its proposal.

The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) has been the driving force behind the implementation of the e-tolling system on South Africa’s major highways.

“People need roads more than Sanral needs the money. Nevertheless, we have reported, in the past couple of weeks, that we’re facing some challenges, more so in relation to our tolled portfolio,” the Department of Transport’s spokesperson Tiyani Rikhotso told CNBC Africa on Thursday.

“Sanral, for the past few years, should have started collecting fees since the erection of the gantries that we have on major highways.”

Rikhotso explained that Sanral’s portfolio is broken down into two parts. 83 per cent consists of a non-tolled portfolio, which accounts for 16,000 kilometres of the road network under Sanral. 17 per cent is the tolled portfolio.

Rikhotso explained that despite the challenges, Sanral is still a healthy organisation, and that the tolling portfolio remains equally healthy.

“We remain very optimistic with regards to our prospects as far as the Supreme Court of Appeal process is concerned. We made our arguments very clear, as we did in the Gauteng North High Court a couple of months ago, which found in our favour. Without having to pre-empt the outcome of the judicial process at the SCA level, we are quite confident that it’s going to go in our favour,” said Rikhotso.

He added that the bone of contention has been whether government made wide consultations before introducing the project. However the North Gauteng High Court found no evidence that government could have overlooked any aspect of the legal framework that governs that particular space.

Since the public proposal of e-tolling, Outa, the Democratic Alliance, the Freedom Front Plus have been some of the major public bodies that have and continue to oppose its implementation.