Gauteng tolls on hold

2011-02-22 14:52

Tariffs Gazetted for the tolling of Gauteng highways will be suspended until further notice, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said today.

A panel of experts would be appointed to explore options in order to reduce the toll burden on road users, he told reporters in Kempton Park.

It comes after a meeting with Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane.

A panel of experts, made up of representatives from the transport department, the SA National Roads Agency Limited and the Gauteng government, would also review the financial model on which the R20-billion transaction was based.

“The premier and I agree on the principle of tolling. Government reiterates its commitment to fully honouring the terms of the loan agreement for this transaction,” said Ndebele.

“We will be engaging with the investors to keep them in the loop and assure them that we remain fully committed to the repayment of the R20-billion loan.”

Mokonyane said it would be unfair to say that government took long before reacting to concerns.

A structured process of consultation and one for input from the public on the cost structure and financial model would soon be announced.

“South Africans can be assured that government is doing everything possible to resolve this matter in a manner that will be in the best interest of the commuter, road user and the state for future development and management of our road infrastructure in the country,” Mokonyane said.

Consultations would at most take a month, before the rolling out of the toll system in June.

“We need to give commuters options,” she said.

Tempers flared after it was announced that in June it would cost 66c/km at the 42 electronic tollgates erected on the N1, N3, N12, N17, R21 and R24.
The tolls covered a distance of about 185km.

Concern was raised by businesses, labour and political parties about the effect toll fees would have on the poor, the economy and alternative routes.

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