Business speaks out on Gauteng tolls

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pretoria - Gauteng's business fraternity got the chance to have their say on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) Tolling System and proposed toll tariffs when public consultations got underway on Thursday.

The Steering Committee on the GFIP, chaired by Transport Director-General George Mahlalela, met with stakeholders, which included Business Unity South Africa, Road Freight Association, Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Business Council of South Africa and the South African Local Government Association.

According to the Transport Department, some of the concerns raised dealt with how the tariffs were arrived at, why the tariffs seem expensive, why the project should be tolled at all and finding alternative sources of funding.

For its part, the Committee said submissions made by the business sector would be given "critical consideration" and would influence the outcome of the consultation process.

Further public consultation meetings with other stakeholders comprising political formations, organised labour, public transport operators and members of civil society are scheduled to take place in the first two weeks of April.

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele appointed the Committee to review the Gauteng freeway toll tariff structure and to explore options that would reduce the impact of the e-tolling cost on road users.

The Department of Transport, Gauteng Premier's Office and the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport are undertaking a full public and stakeholder consultation process.

The Committee will review all submissions related to e-tolling in Gauteng and these recommendations will then be compiled into a report for the Minister.