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Sanral to forge ahead with tolls

Nov 13 2011 11:20
Antoinette Slabbert

Pretoria – The SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) is contractually obliged to bring the Gauteng tolling system into operation unless its instruction from government should change.

This is according to project leader Alex van Niekerk in the wake of criticism that the agency is proceeding to distribute e-tags before the public hearings on the controversial system have concluded.

Various organisations, including the South African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (Savrala), the Automobile Association (AA), trade union Cosatu, the DA and the VF+ have been dissuading the public from obtaining the tags – in protest against the system.

According to Van Niekerk the registration process started off slowly this week, just as do such systems globally. On Monday there were 300 registrations. It's not known how many tags have been sold to date.

Van Niekerk said that even if most road users decide not to buy the e- tag, the system will not collapse in a heap.

“The operating cost will be higher, but that is the reason for the higher toll frees for vehicles without an e-tag.

Van Niekerk said the e-tag would protect motorists from cloned number plates because the tag links the owner’s car to his account.

Without the tag the motorist is exposed to the possibility that another vehicle, with a cloned number plate, could result in toll fees landing on his account.

The e-tags will help the authorities to identify criminals and facilitate prosecution.

Van Niekerk confirms that the amendments to the laws that are required to implement toll fees in terms of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (Aarto) will not be finalised by February.

But this does not mean that Sanral’s hands are tied if people fail to pay their tolls.

As matters currently stand, this already constitutes a legislative offence and offenders can be prosecuted in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act.

Van Niekerk says the public is under the misapprehension that toll roads will cost them thousands each month.

Research has shown that 78% of users of the roads in question will have to pay less than R400 a month.

Average consumers however drive less than 25km a day on the network concerned, said Van Niekerk.

He added that the benefits offered by the improved roads is totally underemphasised.

“If one spends an hour less on the roads morning and evening, over a 20-workday month this amounts to 40 hours, which is equal to a full working week.”

 - Sake24

For more business news in Afrikaans, go to Sake24.com

sanral  |  aarto  |  tolls  |  roads


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