Tolls must not ‘bite’ public too hard, says minister

2011-02-22 12:36

There has to be a way to pay off Gauteng’s new toll roads without leaving users bankrupt, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said today.

“The bill is there. We must find a way to pay the debt so that it doesn’t bite too hard on workers and non-working people and taxi operators, otherwise it’s self defeating,” Ndebele told journalists, ahead of his meeting with Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane to discuss the controversial road tolling system due to be introduced in the province in June.

“If it’s so hard that people are left bankrupt because of a good road, then it becomes self-defeating.”

While government needed to recoup the R20 billion borrowed for the construction of the freeways, Ndebele said this needed to be done in a manner that does not squeeze the economic and industrial development of Gauteng and ultimately, the country’s development.

Ndebele said he appreciated Mokonyane coming on record during her address in the legislature on Friday, where she also acknowledged the price tag to tolls already installed along highways, but emphasised working out a way of repayment that does not squeeze motorists’ pockets too hard.

Ndebele said motorists must not come to a point where they curse the day they drove on Gauteng roads.

“It should be as easy as possible, but the money must be paid and we need to discuss that.”

Meanwhile, Ndebele also denied media reports that the toll gates had caused tension between him and Mokonyane or even with ANC provincial secretary David Makhura.

Mokonyane has indicated that her discussions with Ndebele will centre on finding ways of consulting stakeholders, including motorists, on toll roads, and trying to find alternative ways of financing the construction.

Tempers flared after the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) announced three weeks ago, that in June it will start charging 66c/km at the 42 electronic toll gates erected on the N1, N3, N12, N17, R21 and R24. The tolls cover a distance of about 185km.

Concern was raised by businesses, labour and political parties, about the effect toll fees will have on the poor, the economy and alternative routes.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.