Sanral to increase toll rates nationaly – another blow to SA consumers

By Drum Digital
06 March 2017

The Automobile Association (AA) has slammed the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) for its move to increase the toll rates nationally.

By Aphiwe Boyce

The announcement was made by Sanral on Friday last week and came on the back of increases to the general fuel levy and Road Accident Fund (RAF) levy set for April, as announced in Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s budget speech.  AA spokesperson Layton Beard said this was a financial blow to consumers and will place even more pressure on already cash-strapped motorists and commuters.

Beard said the Sanral users received notification of the increases on the day of the adjustments.  “Actual increase values were not included in the communication, nor was there any justification of why the increases were being made. The new tariff prices do not provide any historical data of the prices, and their increases over a period of time,” he stated.

“It seems its attitude to motorists remains arrogant and uncaring. Sanral would do well to remember it is a service provider to the motorists, yet its attitude conveys the opposite message,” Beard noted.

The increases include the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP). The general fuel levy will increase by 30 cents, and the RAF levy increases by nine cents. This means motorists will be paying R4.78, or 35 %, to taxes for every litre of petrol they put in their vehicles. “With these increases to toll rates, motorists are again being squeezed at every opportunity, a situation that simply cannot continue,” Beard added.

The association noted that it has long called for toll fees to be replaced with a ring-fenced amount as part of the general fuel levy so that motorists don’t pay tax twice for the use of public roads.

Contacted for comment, SANRAL stated that the tariffs were adjusted in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) starting from 3 March 2017. “Adjustments to the tariffs are based on the preceding twelve months CPI and for this financial year, the average CPI adjustment for toll tariffs is 6.04167 %. “But in real terms this means that there is no increase, as the average inflation rate is used to determine the adjustments,” said Vusi Mona.

There will be adjustments on the N3 toll road between Johannesburg and Durban, the N4 highway between the Mozambican border and the Botswana border, as well as on the toll road sections of the N1, N2, N17 and R30. There will be no adjustment of the Swartruggens toll plaza tariffs.

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