Johannesburg - Gauteng’s new e-toll fees will be fair and sustainable, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday.
“A fair dispensation is being put forward to ensure the e-toll system is affordable and sustainable,” he said.
The fees would be “dramatically reduced” and public transport would remain exempt from paying, Ramaphosa said, announcing a "new dispensation" for the electronic tolling system, which was switched on at midnight on December 3 2013.
E-toll fees for light motor vehicles would be reduced from 58 cents per kilometre to 30c/km, he said. This would apply to motorists with and without an e-tag.
The monthly cap for light motor vehicles would be “dramatically reduced” from R450 a month to R225.
“Revised caps will also be introduced to other categories of vehicles and what have you," he said.
Public transport would remain exempt from paying e-tolls. There would however be no change in fees for people who made less than 30 gantry passes a year.
The new dispensation would be implemented in phases. The new cap and revised tariffs would begin in the next two to three months. Those with outstanding e-toll fees would get a 60% discount.
Ramaphosa said the new fees were the result of talks between national government and Gauteng, and were approved by Cabinet.
In July last year, Gauteng premier David Makhura appointed a panel to review the impact of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) and the e-toll system set up to fund it.
Following public consultations it was concluded that the system placed an unfair burden on low- and middle-income households.
The panel however found there was general acceptance of the user-pays principle, and that the GFIP and e-tolls had “hugely benefited” Gauteng’s economy and residents. The improved roads had reduced travel time, improved fuel efficiency, and cut down vehicle operating costs.
The implementation of the e-toll system followed months of court cases between the SA National Roads Agency Limited and the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance.