E-tolling lesson learnt: Ndebele

By Drum Digital
28 February 2012

The government will, in future, proceed more carefully with the introduction of e-tolling, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said on Tuesday.

Public reaction to phase one of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) had taught it a "key lesson" when it came to procedure and public participation, he told reporters in Cape Town.

"One of the key lessons we've learned... is that never again will we have a situation where a city or province takes a decision that has monumental national consequences, and is taken only by a city or a province.

"In future, we will consider very carefully, and discuss and accept the implications of any decision of that kind."

Although tolling on national roads was well understood, the GFIP was the first of its kind in an urban centre.

"It's the first of its kind, and we have learned some quite serious lessons."

Ndebele said a "new dialogue" was needed on how to proceed with this type of tolling in future.

It was in this context that phase two of the GFIP had been halted until such a discussion had been held.

"Or Winelands [Toll Road Project] in Cape Town. We say whoa, lets discuss, and then we'll proceed."

In the future, the government needed to make itself clear.

"Meaning that the public participation and endorsement -- everybody must know the implications of the demand," Ndebele said.

"I am sure we are going to proceed with... phase two, but it must have this element of everyone understanding the implications... as motorists and users of that road."

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