Sanral: Tolls roads will benefit drivers
Johannesburg - The Gauteng e-tolling system will benefit motorists, SA National Roads Agency Limited chief executive Nazir Alli said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a panel discussion hosted by the Johannesburg Press Club, Alli defended the contentious tolling system in Gauteng, saying little was mentioned of the benefits it would bring for motorists.
This included better roads decreasing the cost of wear and tear on vehicles.
SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union general secretary Zenzo Mahlangu said workers remained worried and he repeated Cosatu's call for an integrated public transport system.
"We are quite worried... in particular with this monster called e-tolling.
"This animal with so many tails, we believe will have a depleting impact [on] our pockets," he said.
Alli said while a well-oiled, integrated transport system may "make life easier", it would not solve all problems.
According to proposals - of the new Gauteng toll tariffs - users of light motor vehicles would pay R0.40/km instead of R0.49/km, minibus taxi drivers R0.11/km instead of R0.16 and bikers R0.24 instead of R0.30/km.
The initial tariff announced was R0.66/km for vehicles without an e-tag account.
But the amount sparked an outcry from civil society, with Cosatu threatening to strike over them.
E-tag like pre-paid airtime
Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele and Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane met to discuss the matter and announced that a task team would examine the costing and make alternative proposals.
An e-tag works much like pre-paid cellphone airtime, it fits on the front windscreen of a vehicle and is scanned by toll gantries.
For medium-sized vehicles, the toll fee was reduced from R1.49/km to R1 and for large vehicles from R2.97 to R2. For commuter buses the cost would be reduced from R0.50/km to R0.36.
The proposals were made to the transport and finance ministers, as well as the Gauteng premier. They will then make a pronouncement on the matter, with Ndebele expected to make a final announcement.
Alli said it remained up to Ndebele on whether the proposal would be accepted or not.