Johannesburg - The announcement of the SA National Roads Agency Limited's (Sanral's) rate of 40 cents a kilometre for the new toll roads in Gauteng has horrific implications for the motorist, not to mention the nasty dent it will put in the freight industry's pocket, the Automobile Association (AA) said on Friday.
This followed Sanral's earlier release of the toll tariffs for its e-toll network.
The AA's Gary Ronald said that, before discounts, toll road users were looking at a flat rate of 40 cents for light vehicles and motorcycles, R1.98 for small trucks and R3.96 for larger trucks.
"We're likely to see alternative routes becoming gridlock areas where back roads offer a toll-free substitute, but South Africans are going to need to relook their stance on public transport where it's available," Ronald added.
"A trip from William Nichol to the airport could cost you a cool R38!"
Solutions lay in improved public transport solutions, with a need to accelerate the roll-out of Rea Veya to carry more routes. Looking at Gautrain buses as forms of public transport could be a start.
"We might also see some out-of-the-box thinking from the business sector with a more 'work from home' mentality coming through," he said.
While the AA welcomed the announcement after a long-anticipated wait so that motorists and commerce could adjust their budgets, purse strings would need to be pulled tighter and tighter.
"Following the recent fuel hike and with no reduction in sight, we can also look forward to other increases affecting our budgets in the upcoming budget speech - doom and gloom indeed," Ronald said.
According to Sanral, the fee structure for the Gauteng freeway network will include discounts for off-peak travel, e-tag users, frequent users and qualifying public transport operators.
Toll fees would be collected through a series of overhead toll points or gantries.