Decision on e-tolling fees in limbo
The Department of Transport (DOT) says no deadlines have been set for its decision on disputed e-tolling tariffs.
According to Transport minister, Sibusiso Ndebele, an announcement on the final outcome of this process will be made shortly following further consultation with stakeholders.
“The steering committee chaired by the Director-General, embarked on extensive public consultation to review the concerns raised and the assumptions underlying the determination of the tariff. A comprehensive report on the work of the steering committee will be submitted in due course which we will review,” he explained.
While Ndebele welcomed debate and discussion on the proposed fee structure, he noted that more discussions would be held on future projects.
“Going forward we need a collective engagement of thoughts, ideas and alternatives both in construction and funding methodologies that will ensure effective use of our current and future road network.”
Talks on the highly contested Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) tariff structure started with public consultations and engagements earlier this year.
The GFIP is an initiative which will lead to the upgrade or construction of approximately 500 kms or road around the Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni metros. Introduced in a phased plan and design approach, the project will introduce and open road tolling system which will electronically charge drivers per kilometre as they pass gantries erected across designated toll roads.
The system allows for tolls to be automatically charged without vehicles stopping or slowing down. When the vehicle enters the toll area, the electronic equipment will photograph the front and rear number plate, read the e-tag on the vehicle, verify the tag if is linked to the specific vehicle and have an account linked to it.
Initial tariffs indicated that light vehicle drivers will be charged 66 cents for every km travelled on the provincial freeways, motorcycles will pay 40 cents per km while taxis will pay half the amount.
“For those of you who have travelled on the part of the GFIP that has been completed we must agree that we now have a state of the art road network system…Notwithstanding this, the need for further consultation to address the concern of the public was noted,” Ndebele stated.