Tolls: No sufficient alternative roads

2012-11-14 22:19

Pretoria - There are no sufficient alternative routes available from Pretoria to Johannesburg, a public hearing on the e-tolling of Gauteng highways heard on Wednesday.

"Going from OR Tambo I have to ask which is the alternative route?" asked Primedia Broadcasting head Yusuf Abramjee, speaking in his capacity as a resident of Pretoria.

He argued that the R55 and the R511 were said to be alternative roads, but were in dismal conditions.

"Let me put it bluntly: the [R55] is in a very poor state."

The hearings are being held to give affected parties an opportunity to share with the government their views about the proposed e-tolling.

Abramjee said capping tolls at R550 a month was small comfort.

This was a large amount of money for many people and would make life harder for them day-by-day.

He called being taxed on urban roads an unjust law.

"Do the right thing. Postpone it and listen to the people," Abramjee said.

In October, the transport department instructed the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) to suspend all processes related to the tolling of national roads.

The suspension included the planned phase two of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Plan, the Cape Winelands and the Wild Coast.

"It is important to note that there's a clear distinction or separation between phase one [almost completed] and phase two [no work has started as yet]," said transport spokesperson Tiyane Rikhotso.

He said phase one was almost complete and that the department wanted to hear alternative views from the public on the best possible model of financing the debt which had been incurred.

Last month, the government and Sanral announced new tariffs for e-tolling of Gauteng's freeways.

The announcement, made on 26 October, marked the beginning of a 30-day public consultation process, after which Transport Minister Ben Martins would have a fortnight to "apply his mind", followed by another fortnight to gazette the final tariffs.

This would mean e-tolls would come into effect four days before Christmas.

The government has already contributed R5.75bn to the project, or 25% of the total debt owed by Sanral.

The suspension was welcomed by various organisations, including the SA Municipal Workers' Union, the Freedom Front Plus and AfriForum.

In August, the Cabinet approved reduced toll tariffs for the N1 highway between Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Motorcyclists were expected to pay 24c/kilometre, light motor vehicles 40c, medium vehicles R1 and "longer" vehicles R2 a kilometre.

Taxis and buses were exempted.

On Tuesday, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) called on all those affected by e-tolling in Gauteng to attend the public meetings.

"A maximum of 130 persons can be accommodated per venue. Cosatu urges people to get there early and make sure they don't miss the chance to tell government and Sanral NO to e-tolls," said Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven.

  • debduplessis - 2012-11-14 23:12

    I agree... roads are in appalling state - Outsurance is doing job but I wonder what my car licence renewal each year is all about ... this used to be sufficient for road maintenance (its intended purpose) --- what extra does E-tolling do apart from take from us that which we have already paid for?????

      christo.stone - 2012-11-14 23:43

      You hit it right on the nail licence, fuel levies, car tax etc etc...where's the money going to?

      lsfreak - 2012-11-14 23:49

      You know that transporting the Zipper clan isn't cheap...I heard Moses got water from the stone but the cANCer is trying for blood :D

      aniken.vader.31 - 2012-11-15 02:01

      all those taxes are going to nkandla! The tolls are meant to charge us to pay FOR the toll gates THEMSELVES! NOT the maintenance of the roads as they say! They need to pay for the loans they incurred in BUILDING these white elephants..! DOWN WITH ANC

      brionyl.french - 2012-11-15 05:13


      punungwe - 2012-11-15 05:52

      Without alternative roads, the whole e-tolling scheme becomes extortion. Pay or else don't travel.

      guy.rice - 2012-11-15 06:12

      e-Tolling is not transparent and the public are unable to make any assessment of it while Sanral is not willing to make public the agreement with ETC. These talks are a sham! We close our petition on Thursday 15th for SANRAL to publically make available the contract with ETC. Make your opinion heard at : If you need wording to send to Dear Sir, I wish to lodge my objection to e-Tolling: 1) SANRAL has spent a large amount of money advertising the registration process for e-Tolls but has spent very little on informing the public about where and when the public consultative processes would take place. In my opinion the pubic consultations are a sham and are too little too late. 2) I have no objection to paying for the upgrade to Gauteng roads. The method of collecting the money via e-Tolling is too expensive and the fuel levy should rather be used. 3) As a member of the public I would like to see the agreement with the Electronic Tolling Collection company made public. SANRAL committed on national television to make complete disclosure to COSATU and the DA. SANRAL handed over some of the contracts to COSATU only and had blanked out much of the information. As a member of the public, I cannot make an informed decision around the fairness of e-Tolling as SANRAL has not been transparent and has not communicated all relevant information on the matter to the public. Yours sincerely......

      frank.kistler.31 - 2012-11-15 06:14

      Burn em down....that IS the African way isn't are treading on thin ice,something is going to have to give at some time......

  • saintbruce.bruce - 2012-11-14 23:41

    If you do the maths convert the cost per KM into fuel cost and then get the shock of your life! Think of everything you wear, eat, drink or furnish your house comes via large truck. Look at their costs per KM and they don't get anywhere near a A2 class car consumption so just figure the impact on actual fuel cost increases for every delivery to the factories, assembly plants and finally your local shops. The multiplier effect is going to hammer the Gauteng economy, not that the Sanral economist believes the opposite! I call for a complete boycott of the toll roads. Don't use them. No money = starved and bankrupt SANRAL. SANRAL are also raising their own Police force with wider powers than Metro cops! Watch out as Big Brother Bully ANC gets tough on citizens. Will you let them? Don't break the law, just avoid their money collection scheme and show what you are made of. Now is the time to stand together. Holding hearings for the general public in a room that takes 130 people of a population of 4 - 6 Million - what an insult! Hire the Dome for a week and LISTEN to your CUSTOMERS !!!! NO TOLLS until you can prove a fair system without any fraud, over billing, irregularities in the entire process. Finally - To promote a Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project and even use this term in the Gazette for a TOLLWAY shows the level of deception you have used all along. It's not a FREEWAY if we have to pay Mr Martins, or don't you get the point?

      rob.gunning.1 - 2012-11-22 10:58

      FREEWAY definition: A toll-free highway

  • hugh.robinson.56 - 2012-11-15 00:54

    I do not accept that businesses such as taxis and Buses should be exempt. The ruse that it pro poor is a joke. The bus operators and taxis as a business should be paying tax therefore toll fees are tax deductible. Why should the average motorist pay this additional tax and business gets it off their operational expenses. In short the private motorist pays yet again.

  • richard.scully2 - 2012-11-15 04:41

    They can do whatever they want to, I a m not paying..there is some backhand corrupt bribe deal going on with these gantries. They could have the money now, and nationally if they used the fuel gut feel is that the backhand on the gantries goes to the ANC and top gravy train riders like Zuma and Gordhan. They must know, whatever price they make it, I will not be paying one cent. If it means never registering my car again so be it, then they lose the licence revenue as well. The have no chance, I will go to jail if necessary. I will use the freeways, I will happily pay on fuel levy

      Thebigguyjim - 2012-11-15 06:31

      I agree with you 90%.Except your last sentence.I should read. But I will not be HAPPY to pay a extra levy on fuel. Use what you already collect and stop stealing.

  • brionyl.french - 2012-11-15 05:12


  • jaysonpaul.beckwith - 2012-11-15 05:26

    40c a km??? thats nearly the same price as petrol, I say HELL TO THE NO....these currupt scamrail scumbags are getting away with murder. I say mass strike 101........

  • leandra.coetzer - 2012-11-15 05:34

    Ja... Let vote ANC. They drive around in fancy cars, live in fancy houses while destroying the only homes some people have and can afford, pay for this pay for that and make the poorer even poorer.. how blind can you be! Seriously! Hopefully one day the eyes of the people will open to see what a joke they are, voting for this goverment destroying people physically and emotionaly.. We need goverment that is there serve the people not the people the goverment... A beautifull country is beeing destroyed by GREED and selfishness as they pretend to care about the living condtions of the people yet, toll's are erected electricity goes up, food prices increase, schools are suffering, hospitals are in bad state, our salary increases doesn't even start to cover 1 of these rediculous implimentations and increase approvals.. So you DO not care as you are depriving my kids food cause I need to work my backside off to fund your luxurious life style... Crazy!!!

  • punungwe - 2012-11-15 05:51

    Without alternative roads, the whole e-tolling scheme becomes extortion.

  • Andre Mynhardt - 2012-11-15 06:07

    no to e tolls but it seems govt already made up there minds merry xmas get tagged so is this tax refundable seeing that its forced transport tax

  • byron.scott.754 - 2012-11-15 06:18

    How is it that 20 yrs ago there was less tax on fuel, less toll gates and no talk on e-tolls and yet the roads were in better condition. Oh wait, that's because millions of the taxpayers money is being stolen now! Not \gone missing\. Stolen! The cANCer are a bunch of thieves! And they need to find new ways to fill their pockets. They can take those gantries and shove them up their backsides! I will never pay for E-tolls!

  • warwick.railton.7 - 2012-11-15 06:21

    The government has already contributed R5.75bn to the project, or 25% of the total debt owed by Sanral..................Ummmmmmmmmm no, we, the tax payer paid it, not the government. The government does not earn its own revenue, but takes from the tax payer - us. The crap sanral & government talk is unbelievable. No to etolling - bottom line. We will never comply & get tagged.

  • warwick.railton.7 - 2012-11-15 06:33

    Hey Yusuf Abramjee, your radio station 702 gladly advertisers sanrals inane claptrap. How about putting your money where your mouth is and stop their advertising on your station. I stopped listening to the radio stations that endorse etolling............if the shoe fits. You are either with us or against us……no grey areas here mate!

      saintbruce.bruce - 2012-11-15 07:58

      Listen closely pal - the ads are for LEAD SA and call for you to stand with them in this matter. Will you?

  • patricia.dewet.92 - 2012-11-15 06:36

    They made a mess of e-natis and we had to pay R30.00 for a year to help, but they never took it away and we are still paying that extra for car licence renewal. The licence payment almost double the last two years, so what are they using that for, salaries for people to collect it and then there's nothing left.

  • Jack - 2012-11-15 07:24

    Say NO to e-toll. Don't pay for what is already yours. e-tolling is an exercise in corruption on a gigantic scale.

  • Jack - 2012-11-15 07:30

    Say NO to e-toll. Say NO to CORRUPTION. SCAMRAL and Govmnt are in raping financially the citizens of SA. Audit the National Treasury and get to the bottom of the cANCer tearing this country apart. Do NOT REGISTER. An honest judge with half a brain and one eye will see the crime behind this scheme. Is is unconstitutional in letter and spirit. Support OUTA.

  • ingrid.oberholzer - 2012-11-15 07:35

    Please people turn up to the meeting even if its not what we want on the agenda, at least we can all try and stand together. The unions and informal settlement dwellers stand together but we can't even attend a simple meeting all we do is complain and take no avtion.

      saintbruce.bruce - 2012-11-15 08:06

      Ah Ingrid - nice one but holding 3 or 4 meetings to cover the greater Gauteng Province with only 130 folks allowed in is not exactly an inclusive or representative process now is it? Actually - it is an insult to the people of Gauteng. I am seriously concerned that the level of anger being expressed on News24 is rising and this is not localised to this forum, it's everywhere! In 1789 the French royalty ignored the anger of their people with dire [fatal] consequences! SANRAL management, if you read this, I get a sense of Deja vu - Madame L'Guillotine may taste blood again soon! If COSATU get their way then Marikana will look like a children's playtime event by comparison! You are not judging the situation accurately and we know where you work. Connect the dots.........

  • sibusiso.mkoko - 2012-11-15 08:12

    I see a lot of ppl are against the tolling, but they\r\ndon't attend protests or those public hearing. The\r\nCosatu strike will again be full of red-tshirts, not\r\nblue ones. Ppl only complain here on news24, nd\r\nthink the tolling won't go ahead. Put that ipad, phone or laptop down, move away frm that pc. Stand up and go\r\nfyt!

  • ingrid.oberholzer - 2012-11-15 08:20

    Saint Bruce I apologise I stay in Krugersdorp and followed the proceedings on the news, I was not aware that only 130 people are allowed to attend, ENCA reported that both meetings had a bad turn out. The e.tols don't affect me but I will make a effort to protest. The Government has made up their minds we are going to pay so come hell or high water this disaster is going to happen.

      kenpeg.dawson - 2012-11-15 08:46

      cANCer and its buddies are only holding these meetings so they can say that 1)Only 130 people showed up per meeting. 2)If more people were to attend each meeting the possibility of a lynch mob will be greater.

  • duncan.mansfield.77 - 2012-11-15 09:30

    Makes a person wonder where all the money taken by Tolcon over all the years has been spent. Its definitely not on the roads. Somebody needs to sit down and calculate what SANRAL is already collecting from all it's existing tollgates, I am sure we will find they have already collected enough to pay for the new road. I think the money is being channeled elsewhere and not on roads.

  • Hemlock - 2012-11-15 11:22

    "Insaneral" and the Government can kiss my shiney hiney! I rarely travel the highways...why the hell must I buy an e-tag! Bloody thieving bastards!

  • mark.whitehead.96995 - 2012-11-15 13:45

    While the Government misappropriates Millions of Rands on corruption, I will not pay for e-Tolls. They squander money that should be used on infrastructure development, building palaces for the so called President, and buy themselves luxury cars, and stay in 5 Star Hotels. The fact that SANRAL and the government will not provide the tax paying public with visibility of the contracts with the service providers (who stand to make a tidy some at your and my expense) - makes me question why e-Tolls are being introduced. Is this another Arms deal in the making - who in the ANC stands to benefit out of this deal - in the form of bribes and kick backs? Least we forget that our so called president bough the now imfamous Nkandla with a R1 million bribe from the Arms deal. Generally where there is smoke there is fire - 18 years of corruption has made the tax payer wise to the looting. It is just a great pity that the majority of the voters cannot or will not see this, out of blind loyalty to a party, a leadership structure that continues to fail them, and every other South African. I will not be tagged, and I will not pay e-tolls. Not today, not tomorrow, never.

  • chris.shield - 2012-11-15 15:21

    The government has received billions of rands in tax money from all the new cars that were sold for all those years that they neglected their duty by not upgrading and maintaining the roads, VAT, import duties and emissions tax has poured in from the sale of new cars yet nobody bothered to channel any of that money into the building and upgrading of roads for those cars to drive on. It's governments job to build roads with the tax money they get from us, why must we pay more because they didn't bother to do their jobs in the first place?

  • clint.archer.9 - 2012-11-15 16:59

    Democracy in action: Public hearings but only space for 130 people - let's hope its the right 130 people. what a farce

  • marlene.steyn.33 - 2012-11-16 14:59

    I say, a daily user of the highway/road between Alberton and Rivonia, get our public transport on the same level as countries with tolling and then maybe you can start charging for roads/highway being used daily by commuters. How else do we get to work and home from these areas, there is absolutely no public transport other than taxis, and which person in their right mind will use these transport, they drive like lunatics, the vehicles are in a state, need I say more. And the Gautrain, our poor mortals cant afford this luxury, and also more affluent areas are being serviced, NOTE East (accept airport, and to get there is already a problem, South and West of Johannesburg are not being serviced.

  • marlene.steyn.33 - 2012-11-16 15:07

    I say, a daily user of these roads between Alberton and Rivonia, get our roads up to good standard, get our public transport accessible to all, and then maybe we will agree to e-tolling. Please investigate what type of public transport currently runs to these areas our places of work before implementing e-tolling. Using these roads our only means of getting to work and from, and they are so congested so where are the alternatives, same amount of time to travel, no pot holes, so please already existing roads has just been upgraded so you can charge us again, have'nt we already paid for these through fuel levy.... just asking

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