E-tolls to go live before year-end

Monday, October 7, 2013
Nthambeleni Gabara

Midrand - The implementation of the electronic tolling (e-tolling) system on Gauteng’s upgraded freeways will go live before the end of the year, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters confirmed at the SABC/New Age business briefing on Monday.

Peters said following the signing into law of the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill by President Jacob Zuma, her department would this week start the process of publicising the tariff structure. It would then be open for public comment for a 30-day period.

“After the 30-day period, I think it will take us about seven to 14 days to get the ball rolling. Yes, I will say [that the Gauteng e-tolling system will be operational].

“The objective of the e-tolling system is to decongest our road networks and I would like to say, they have done a good job.

“We’ve also created alternative routes to ensure that those who are unable to get to the freeway, or those who don’t want to use or pay [on] the freeway, they can use those alternative routes,” Peters said.

E-toll billboards

With regard to the controversial billboards erected on Johannesburg’s N3 and N1 highways, with the message ‘E-tolls. Proudly brought to you by the ANC’, Peters said: “Those are cowards and people who don’t have the decency to actually acknowledge what the African National congress (ANC) led government has delivered in this country.

“They want to focus on one aspect and turn an important infrastructure of the economic hub of South Africa, like the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP), into a gimmick...”

Registering for e-tags

SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) CEO Nazir Alli said a lot of commentators on the e-tolls did not look at the benefits of GFIP, but rather focused on the cons of the project.

“We’ve noticed that since the President signed the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill into law [last week], we are starting to see an increase in the number of people who are buying e-tags.

“South Africans are generally law abiding citizens. They … will get e-tags and the sales will increase. I’ve not yet checked the recent figures, but already two and half million vehicles are registered on the system,” he said.

According to Alli, 83 percent of those people will be paying no more than R100 a month.

“These are facts, not the numbers we’ve been hearing about where people have been exaggerating … that motorists will be paying R1 000 or R1 500 a month. I want to assure you - nobody will be paying such an amount.

“Eighty-three percent of the two and half million [people] we’ve measured will be paying no more than R100 a month. That is the side of the coin that we should be looking at as well,” he said.

The maximum monthly cost of using the road network is capped at R450 for those who have registered for e-tags.

The Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Act will facilitate the upgrading and development of transport infrastructure and public transport in the Republic.

A statement released by the Presidency says: “the Act will provide more effectively for the collection of toll [and] to amend the Cross-Border Road Transport Act, 1998 (Act No. 4 of 1998), empowering the Cross-Border Road Transport Agency to collect toll on behalf of Sanral". - SAnews.gov.za

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