National Assembly approves e-tolling bill

2013-03-05 16:43

Legislation paving the way for putting e-tolling of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) into practice has been approved in the National Assembly.

Introducing debate on the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill, Transport Minister Ben Martins said the bill was essential to enable “the appropriate implementation of the e-tolling system”.

These measures were required to implement the GFIP and to facilitate provision of public transport and other projects in Gauteng, he said.

He rejected calls for e-tolling to be scrapped, saying the non-collection of tolls might impact negatively on the ability of the SA National Roads Agency Limited to raise capital for infrastructure-development projects.

Inability to collect revenue would also damage the credit reputation of Sanral among investors, and could negatively affect Sanral and government’s international ratings, Martins said.

The bill was strongly opposed by most opposition parties, with the Democratic Alliance’s Ian Ollis calling it “the world’s most expensive toll-collection system”.

According to the DA’s calculations, it could cost up to R11 billion over eight years to operate.

There were many more efficient funding models available, such as a fuel levy of 10 to 14 cents a litre, which would cover all the costs of the GFIP, he said.

The measure was approved by 193 votes to 98 in a division. There were two abstentions.

The bill now goes to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence.

Opposition to e-tolling has been widespread and virulent, with the Congress of SA Trade Unions organising extensive protest action and urging motorists not to register with Sanral or buy e-tags.

An application by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) to scrap e-tolling was dismissed in December by the High Court in Pretoria.

The court granted Outa leave, on January 25, to take the matter to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.

A date for the appeals court hearing has yet to be set.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.