South Africa’s deputy president has conceded that e-tolls were a burden announcing a new dispensation this Wednesday.
“It was found that in its current form, the e-toll system placed a disproportionate burden on low- and middle-income households,” Ramaphosa said in a statement.
He also said this realisation came against the backdrop of acknowledging that the implementation of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project and e-tolls has benefited the economy and the people of Gauteng through a better quality road system, reduced travel time, improved fuel efficiency, reduced vehicle operating costs and improved logistics efficiencies.
Ramaphosa said the panel reviewing the system said elements of the current e-toll system should be reviewed to address the questions of affordability, equity, fairness, administrative simplicity and sustainability.
“A hybrid funding model should be found that includes significantly reduced tariffs, monthly caps and financial contributions by the Gauteng Provincial Government and national government,” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa said to ensure the e-toll system is equitable, affordable, sustainable and more efficient, Cabinet has approved that public transport remains exempted which applies to buses and taxis with operating permits.
“A single, reduced tariff will apply to all motorists. As an example, the current standard tariff of 58c per kilometre for light motor vehicles will be reduced to 30c per kilometre. This single tariff will apply to all motorists within a vehicle class whether they have an e-tag or not.”
Ramaphosa also announced the reduction of the monthly cap.
“Users of light motor vehicles will not pay more than 225 rand a month. This is half the current monthly cap of 450 rand a month. Revised caps will also be introduced for other vehicle classes.”
South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) chief executive Nazir Alli welcomed the development.
“We welcome the decision made and hope that the matter is now laid to rest so that we can focus all our energies on executing our mandate to the benefit of all South Africans,” said Alli.