I am responding to Jason’s open letter to Mr Ali as published on May 14,2014.
I believe a very important point is being missed altogether. What needs to be investigated is the rand cost (R) per kilometre that is being billed on the e-tagged freeways as opposed to the rate that is being billed on other tolled freeways.
There is a huge discrepancy in the rate per kilometre when comparing the tolls levied on the N1 from JHB to Cape Town (R89.00 before the increase for approx. 1 400 kilometers), N3 Jhb to Durban, N1 Jhb to Polokwane and on the N4 from Pretoria to Nelspruit.
If my calculations are correct, the average R per kilometre billed on the Gauteng freeways (e-tag) is about R0.30 per kilometre or in some cases higher if you look at individual billing points, whereas the rate billed on other freeways is approximately R0.05 or lower per kilometre.
This is based on sedan rates.
Why are these rates so high in Gauteng? Surely the cost of construction remains relatively constant wherever the construction or upgrades are undertaken.
Was there price fixing by the construction companies when this tender was awarded?
What about infrastructure that has been in existence for more than 20 years? Why is there not a reduction in the rate as the capital investment has been recovered?
A complete review and analysis of the entire roads development plan needs to undertaken so that a clear picture can be established and excessive overcharging can be eradicated.
I have not mentioned anything about the e-tag billing process as I believe that it is common cause that it is inefficient and should be scrapped.
I trust that this is a useful contribution to the fight against e-tags and the billing process.
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