E-tolls: Double or nothing?

2013-12-03 08:23
Johannesburg - Despite all the protests and court appeals the e-tolls have come into effect as from today, 3 December 2013.

If you're a motorist travelling through the province of Gauteng, you will need to register for electronic tolling and buy your e-tag - that's if you haven't done so already.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters Minister said in a statement that more than 21 000 people have registered since the commencement date of e-tolling was announced, while Sanral indicates that in excess of 735 000 tags have been sold.

While not registering is not a criminal offense, regular users of the tolled roads can expected to pay almost double of what registered users will pay.

According to Sanral a light-motor vehicle that is not registered would be expected to pay 59 cents per kilometer as compared to 30 cents per kilometer paid by their registered peers.

If you're hitting the long road for the festive season or you are hiring a car from OR Tambo (holidaymakers can expect car hire rates to spike by an estimated 10%)  and road tripping to your chosen destination but are unfamiliar with the Gauteng Highways it might just be easier to suck up the costs.
Sanral said in a statement that recent studies indicate that traffic passing under the 49 gantries across the  province’s freeways show that 84% of road users will  pay less than R100 a month to use the roads - which is meant to pay for the R20 billion highway upgrade program recently completed in the province.

But for those road users refusing to budge, there a few alternative routes - but congestion is expected as the e-tolls take effect.

Alternative routes?

The Gauteng Department of Transport unveiled a revamped road network that could serve as an alternative to the toll routes, showcasing the M57 that connects Ekurhuleni to Pretoria. An estimated R50 million has been set aside to re-surface and widen this provincial road that runs parallel to the R21. The dual-carriageway R55, between Johannesburg and Pretoria, is also in the process of being upgraded.

The single-lane old Pretoria Road has been suggested as an alternative when travelling from Johannesburg to Pretoria.

Road users travelling from Soweto to Sandton would mainly be affected by N12 gantries and alternative suggestions include using the Golden Highway off-ramp via Xavier to Booysens. Otherwise travellers could head via Empire road onto the M1 to re-join the highway for the Sandton route.

What if you're not from Gauteng?

Using any of the affected roads on your holiday roadtrip, but not a citizen of Gauteng? Unfortunately, you're still going to have to pay. According to the SANRAL website, Road Users who do not use the Gauteng e-roads on a regular basis can either register with an e-tag or purchase a day pass. 

An Occasional Road User of the Gauteng e-toll roads can purchase a Day Pass through any of the following channels:

- Via the website ,
- By visiting one of the e-toll Customer Service Centres (click here for locations), or
- Through phoning into the e-toll Call Centre at 0800 SANRAL (726 725) 

It is important to note the following:

- A Day Pass should be purchased before using the Gauteng e-road.

- You may purchase a Day Pass up to 30 days before using the Gauteng e-roads.

- A Day Pass is only valid for 24-hours after activation.

- A Day Pass is activated upon your first gantry passage after purchase.

- A Day Pass may only be purchase 12 times per year for a vehicle.

- Is valid for 30days from the date of purchase.

- Cannot be activated retrospectively (i.e. it cannot be used to pay for toll transactions prior to the purchase of the Day Pass).

- Is valid for the payment of all e-toll transactions and any number of kilometres driven on the Gauteng e-road, as per the conditions set out above after purchase.

- Is only valid on the Gauteng e-roads and cannot be used as payment of toll at conventional toll plazas. (Click here for the map).

- A Day Pass entitles you to drive through as many gantries on the Gauteng e-road in a 24-hour period with the vehicle the Day Pass has been purchased for.

- No refunds are given on a Day Pass if pass if transaction values do not equate to the amount the Day Pass was purchased for.

Should you not have a registered e-toll Account, or purchased a Day Pass, before making use of the Gauteng e-road, you may pay for your un-paid e-toll transactions at the time of purchasing your Day Pass.

Day pass costs

Class A1 (motorcycles) - R30
Class A2 (light vehicles) - R50
Class B (medium heavy) - R125
Class C (large heavy) - R250

Expected costs for regular Gauteng Road Users?
Following are the proposed SANRAL e-toll tariffs per kilometre according to the Government Gazette for the e-tag holders as opposed to full price

- Class A1 (motorcycles): 35c/km standard, 18c/km e-Tagged
- Class A2 (light vehicles): 58c/km standard, 30c/km e-Tagged
- Class B (medium heavy): 145c/km standard, 75c/km e-Tagged
- Class C (large heavy): 290c/km standard, 150c/km e-Tagged

Following are the toll rates across the rest of South Africa - effective since March 2013 (Source - AA)

If you're not sure how much you will be paying, make use of SANRAL's e-toll calculator

Check out this map showing the entire e-toll network

Heading on a road trip - share your experience with us on Facebook or Twitter or come join our Instagram travel community.

Read more on:    travel south africa  |  e-toll

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