Alternative routes clogged as e-tolls start

2013-12-03 09:06
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E-tolling begins in Gauteng

Gauteng road users woke up to tolled highways on Tuesday morning after the controversial project finally kicked in after midnight. See pictures.

Johannesburg - Traffic on the M1 highway from Soweto towards the Crown Interchange was at a standstill on Tuesday morning, Johannesburg metro police said.

JMPD spokesperson Edna Mamonyane said traffic was "chock a block" and that it had not eased up since the early morning.

That route is not tolled and is close to the N1 which is subject to e-tolls.

Tuesday marked the first day of the controversial e-tolls managed by the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) which compels motorists to pay to use certain highways around Gauteng via an e-tag.

Mamonyane said: "Coming in from the west; Hendrik Potgieter, Ontdekkers and Main Reef roads are heavy, which happens on a daily basis."

Kliprivier, Booysens and Rosettenville roads were backed up for motorists coming from the south of Johannesburg, she said.

"Normally in the north, [roads such as] William Nicol and Beyers Naude are very heavy."

Suburbs

She said motorists were using suburbs as alternative routes.

"People are going to start seeing a heavy presence of cars in their [neighbourhoods]. A lot of it will be from the northern suburbs," she said.

Mamonyane could not immediately confirm which other alternative routes were being used by motorists.

At least two anti-e-tolling media briefings are planned for Tuesday.

One will be by the Congress of SA Trade Unions in Gauteng, which has been protesting against the project to "irritate politicians", and one by the opposition Democratic Alliance which would unveil the "next phase" of its anti-tolls campaign.

Church leaders vowed on Monday that they would not pay toll fees, and called on others to do the same.

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) continued to urge motorists to refrain from buying e-tags.

"There is no law that requires road users to buy an e-tag or register with Sanral in order to use Gauteng's freeways," said Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage.

- Are you affected? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

- SAPA
Read more on:    outa  |  sanral  |  johannesburg  |  tolls  |  transport
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