Back off N2 toll, Sanral told

2011-03-22 00:00

THE national transport portfolio committee its KwaZulu-Natal counterpart have reached the unanimous conclusion that “there is no support from any organisation in the province to toll the N2 through KZN in a bid to raise funds for its construction through the Eastern Cape and former Transkei”.

The committees instructed officials of Sanral, the national roads agency, to bring its chief executive officer to a follow-up meeting to present alternative sources of funding other than further tolling of the province’s already overburdened roads.

The Democratic Alliance’s KZN transport spokesperson, Radley Keys, confirmed that Sanral would be required to present substitutes to further tolling on the proposed N2.

“Despite a clear indication from all parties within the provincial parliament, the KZN cabinet, local government, eThekwini Metro and civic organisations that they would oppose tolling, Sanral has bulldozed ahead with its plans for the N2,” Keys said.

Last week KZN’s transport portfolio committee sent a delegation to meet the national transport portfolio committee about the matter and tolling in general.

Keys confirmed that Sanral representatives were also in attendance.

“They attempted to justify the tolling of the N2 from Durban south to the former Transkei border, acknowledging that three additional toll plazas are planned with many more off- and on-ramp tolls.”

The unanimous decision of the combined portfolio committees was that Sanral needs to find alternative sources of funding.

The proposed toll is in addition to the fuel levy, bank charges and tax paid to the central government.

“Members have opposed the additional taxation on the grounds that it will severely affect the economic development of the South Coast, its tourism industry and, of course, the many consumers who will have to bear the brunt of this additional cost,” said Keys.

He welcomed the united front in opposing additional tolls in the province.

“The DA proposes that a portion of the fuel levy be ringfenced to provide funding for the construction and maintenance of our national freeways,” said Keys.

“We have fought relentlessly since 2002 to have additional tolls planned for the N2 cancelled and are enormously encouraged that all political parties and local government and civic and business organisations are united in our stand against what is an unrealistic and unjust proposal.”

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