Cape Town - On the back of increases to the general fuel levy and Road Accident Fund (RAF) levy coming in April, motorists now also have to contend with increases to toll rates announced by the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral), on Friday.
It’s a move the Automobile Association (AA) said on Monday is yet another financial blow to South Africans - and one which will place even more pressure on already cash-strapped motorists, commuters and consumers.
“In April the general fuel levy increases by 30 cents, and the RAF levy increases by 9c. This means that motorists across South Africa will be paying R4.78, or 35%, to taxes for every litre of petrol they put in their vehicles. With these increases to toll rates, motorists are again being squeezed at every opportunity, a situation that simply cannot continue,” the AA said.
The AA has for a long time called for toll fees to be replaced with a ring-fenced amount as part of the general fuel levy so that motorists aren’t paying tax twice for the use of public roads. It is making the call again in the light of this year’s adjustments to the fuel levy and tolls.
According to the AA, some Sanral users received notification of the increases via email on Friday, the day of the adjustments.
"Actual increase values were not included in the communication, nor was there any justification of why the increases were being made. The new tariff prices also do not provide any historical data of the prices, and their increases over a period of time. Sanral’s only justification was that the adjustments were published in the Government Gazette on February 16," commented the AA.
“Sanral has again missed an opportunity to engage meaningfully with the public on this topic. We warned last year that Sanral must try and win support from the public, but it seems its attitude to motorists remains arrogant and uncaring. We will not be surprised if, given this attitude, and the prevailing economic situation in South Africa, more motorists decide not to pay their tolls. Sanral would do well to remember it is a service provider to their customers - the motorists of South Africa - and yet its attitude conveys the opposite message.”
The published increases cover tolls across South Africa, including the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP), where payment rates remain low.
The GFIP day trip from Soweto to Pretoria will cost the consumer an additional 6% in tolls from March 3 2017 compared to February 2017.