Gauteng tolls too complex - DA
Johannesburg - The tolling system to be levied on Gauteng highways is far too complex to enforce, the Democratic Alliance said on Monday.
"With the current billing chaos resulting mainly from the flawed Johannesburg computer system, not forgetting similar problems with the Ekurhuleni and Tshwane systems last year, yet another area of concern is being created with this system due to its complexity," DA transport spokesperson in Gauteng Neil Campbell said in a statement.
"Taxes are meant to be transparent and simple to understand, and a toll is just another tax. This one however is so complicated that mistakes are bound to creep in."
This follows the announcement by the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) of tariffs for the 185km Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.
Its chief executive officer Nazir Alli said motorists who purchased the e-tag system would pay 49.5 cents a kilometre.
Medium-sized vehicles with the e-tag would be charged R1.49/km and heavy-duty vehicles with an e-tag would be charged R2.97/km.
Motorists would get further discounts depending on when they used the highway and on whether they were frequent users.
Campbell anticipated that those using the roads the least would pay the most.
"The person who finds him or herself on the freeway, perhaps by accident, will pay the most. Everyone else, it seems, except those too lazy to obtain an e-tag, qualifies for some form of discount which will be calculated after the event by a computer system," he said.
"While I am not in favour of these tolls being levied at all because of the lack of affordable, reliable, safe, punctual and widespread public transport alternatives, I am in favour of any decrease in the high cost of these tolls, but why do we have to make the simple act of tolling the highways as complicated as completing a Sars provisional tax return?"
Sanral could not immediately comment.