Gazetted GP tolls suspended

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pretoria - Toll tariffs gazetted for the 185-km Gauteng highway network have been suspended until further notice.

The announcement was made by Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele after he met with Premier Nomvula Mokonyane on Tuesday.

Ndebele said the talks between him and the premier were as a result of concerns raised by South Africans at large over the looming tolling system.

"South Africans have voiced their views on the tolling of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) over the past few weeks. We have been listening to these views and decided to further engage on this matter," said Ndebele.

Contrary to media reports about differences of opinion between the Transport Minister and Mokonyane, Ndebele said they both agreed on the principle of tolling.

"We will also be engaging with the investors to keep them in the loop and assure them that we remain fully committed to the repayment of the R20 billion loan," said Ndebele, adding that a task team would be set up to review the entire financial model on which the transaction was based.

The team will be made up of representatives from the Department of Transport, Sanral and the Gauteng Provincial Government and it will explore various options to help reduce the impact of the cost on road users.

"We will shortly announce the task team members as well as the programme of action. We will also announce the process for inputs from members of the public on the cost structure, financial model and options," said Ndebele.

The task team is expected to come up with firm recommendations as soon as possible.
Government will also be looking at various short term improvements in public transport and take necessary remedial actions.

"South Africans can rest assured that government is doing everything possible to resolve this matter in a manner that will be in the best interest of the commuter, road user and the state for future development and management of our road infrastructure in the whole country," said the minister.