Thumbs down for reduced Gauteng toll fees

Thumbs down for reduced Gauteng toll fees

2011-06-30 18:45

Johannesburg - A proposed reduction on toll tariffs for Gauteng's freeways still poses a financial burden on road users who do not need to be taxed any further, organisations said on Thursday.

Kallie Kriel, CEO of civil rights initiative group AfriForum, said salary earning motorists were becoming a "cash cow" for the government.

He called the tariff cut a "miracle", because the public were initially told that there was no way to reduce costs.

"Miracles do happen, (but) salary earning motorists are becoming a cash cow."

DA provincial spokesman Neil Campbell said: "We are being taxed to death, but get very little in return for that tax."

Cambell, Kriel, and other representatives were speaking at a Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) stakeholder meeting in Johannesburg.

The proposed reduced toll tariffs were released to the media by GFIP steering committee director-general George Mahlalela on Thursday morning.

It was however embargoed for release at 1pm, while the meeting convened at 10am.

Mahlalela said the reduced charges would now be submitted to the government for consideration.

Business Unity SA acting executive director for economic policy, Coenraad Bezuidenhout, said suggestions made during previous meetings with the committee had not been addressed.

He also accused the committee of not affording organisations the opportunity to prepare for Thursday's meeting, by announcing the proposed fees to the media first, and changing the program three times.

SA Communist Party Gauteng representative, Pat Ntsobi, said processes lacked public participation. He said there was also no compelling reason why people had to be overburdened by toll fees.

Discounts for e-tags

According to the proposals, users of light motor vehicles would pay 40c/km instead of 49c/km, minibus taxi drivers 11c/km instead of 16c/km and bikers 24c instead of 30c/km.

These proposed numbers only apply to people using e-tags.

The initial tariff announced was 66c/km for vehicles without an e-tag account.

For medium vehicles, the toll fee was reduced from R1.49/km to R1 and for large vehicles from R2.97 to R2. For commuter buses the cost would be reduced from 50c/km to 36c.

An e-tag works much like pre-paid cellphone airtime, fits on the front windscreen of a vehicle and is scanned by toll gantries.

Forty two electronic toll gates have been erected on the N1, N3, N12, N17, R21 and R24. The tolls cover a distance of about 185km.

Anton Alberts, Freedom Front Plus parliamentary spokesman on transport, said the party had procedural problems with the finalisation of the proposed tariffs, and the tariffs themselves.

"In the final analyses the FF Plus is not satisfied with the concessions which have been made and will consider further options to ensure that fair tariffs see the light of day," Alberts said.

Taxi associations also voiced concerns of having to pay for tolls.

"I would have been happy with zero payment on these roads," National Taxi Alliance chairman Francis Masitsa told the meeting.

He said calculations indicated that those in the taxi industry would have to fork out about R5800 extra a year.

The SA National Taxi Association (Santaco) said commuters, some of whom were the poorest of the poor, would feel themselves discriminated against.

Santaco communications manager Thabiso Molelekwa said businesses also stood a chance of "collapsing by default". He suggested that taxis be completely exempted from tolling.

Mahlalela intervened during the meeting, to indicate that it was "payback time" for road users.

"They are built, now we have to pay for it," he said.

The proposed tariffs would be made to the transport and finance ministers, as well as the Gauteng premier. They will then make a pronouncement on the matter, with transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele expected to make a final announcement.

The initial proposed tariffs and their effect on the economy and people's pockets caused a public outcry. Ndebele then appointed the committee in February to come up with other options.

Mahlalela said several meetings between interested parties and the committee took place between March 24 and April 6 this year. Submissions from the public were also received.

SA Road Federation president Mutshutshu Nxumalo said the apartheid government had left the department with challenges and backlogs.

He said tolling was a way to gain very little money that "had to be spread thinly" to make roads safer.

Nxumalo accused the public of "crying" over the user pay system, when they were the ones using the roads.

"I wish people would appreciate these things," he said.

  • Realist - 2011-06-30 18:32

    Extract from THE ANC Freedom Charter states "All shall be free to travel without restriction from countryside to town, from province to province, and from South Africa abroad". So why are there potholes & tolls on our roads? Potholes & Tolls restrict travel? The poorer of the poor having to pay extremely high road toll fees thus restricting their travel. Strange how the ANC loves to quote only certain sections of the charter when it suites them but remain silent on others paragraphs!

  • Brieuse - 2011-06-30 18:46

    Apartheid is to blame for backlogs? lol, just two days ago: ""Ineffective institutional structures, poor planning and financing, and a lack of management skills are principally to blame," Mr Nxumalo said yesterday."

  • SYLVERSTAR - 2011-06-30 18:53


  • Barney Stinson - 2011-06-30 18:54

    Most awesome road system ever! High 5!

  • Ho - 2011-06-30 18:58

    Oh yes...its' apartheid's fault once again...what a bunch of useless, incompetent people...

  • Ernest Ankiewicz - 2011-06-30 18:59

    People should not install the e-tags but still use the highways and force the government to issue accounts and summonses to all motorists until such time they drop the prices. The government will be forced to send out millions of accounts every month and they don't have the man power to do it. This is the best and easiest way to boycott the system. What is the government going to do about motorists from other neighbouring countries that don't have these transponders? South Africans are too complacent and its time we fight back. WE have paid for these roads.

  • farmworker - 2011-06-30 19:03

    They should just scrap the fee all together

  • BigD - 2011-06-30 19:05

    I do appreciate the new roads. But I dont appreciate the prices that you want that I cannot afford. lets take my costs for 1 year. 80km per day X 40 X 250 days per annum = R8,000. Now link that to the rates increase, electricity increas and the food increase the tolls are going to have. I consertively estimate R15,000 per annum extra out of my shrinking budget. I cannot afford this, it is like having R1,300 spare lying around which I don't. So what is my solution. One solution maybe is to do my own gardening or the wife can do house work. Remember her travelling is not added in. Another solution can be to use other roads where there are no tolls, so that could mean leaving and hour earlier each morning and arriving later at home. Nah, the first options is looking good to me.

  • ebiadams - 2011-06-30 19:17

    The increase in Electricity, increase in interest rates, introduction of these toll roads, increase in fuel prices (which inadvertently increases the prices of everything and high unemployment rate is just crippling this economy. I think we are going to go through another recession and this one is going to be really bad.

  • african - 2011-06-30 19:18

    What happens to the fuel levy now? Is it discontinued (haha). As for the improved roads: they were great during the world cup and since then what's happened: lanes coned off. Everything stopped until the toll gates were installed. Will the blue light convoys also be tolled....

  • dare.myburgh - 2011-06-30 19:23

    And we did not ask for the toll,so take your ** down or have them removed by the public.

  • tryanything - 2011-06-30 19:30

    The great train robbery?

  • @kevDD - 2011-06-30 19:31

    "SA Road Federation president Mutshutshu Nxumalo said the apartheid government had left the department with challenges and backlogs." BULL - The highways and by-ways were in good condition before 1994. The problem is the lack of attention that was paid to the condition of our roads since then.

  • Barker - 2011-06-30 19:31

    "Nxumalo accused the public of "crying" over the user pay system, when they were the ones using the roads". If our tax money wasn't being milked, that could have been used for the roads !!!

  • Justin - 2011-06-30 19:32

    "I wish people would appreciate these things," he said. So, exactly why are we paying tax again? It's obviously not for maintaining or developing our road infrastructure.

  • pistolpete - 2011-06-30 19:33

    Increasing fuel taxes would've been better, but the operators clinched it through "incentives" all over i am quite sure

  • Keith - 2011-06-30 19:42

    Something stinks to hell and gone here,why do taxi's pay only 11c why do motorcycles pay more.A taxi is more heavy?The taxi industry complains they have to fork out a extra R5800.00 a year,some of us will have to fork out a extra R1000.00 a month if not more.You do the math,I ask where will I get extra money a month to pay for this.There will be a time that will come that I will not be able to afford to get to work,then you wonder why there are so many job losses!!

  • Realist - 2011-06-30 19:51

    Quote "Nxumalo accused the public of "crying" over the user pay system, when they were the ones using the roads." The user does pay by means of the high tax on petrol so the more one travels the more one uses petrol thus the USER PAYS. BUT WHY THE DOUBLE TAX - this is nothing but highway robbery....,.

      Fluke - 2011-07-01 07:57

      Good one!

  • za101 - 2011-06-30 20:04

    gov just trying to prevent poor people from buying cars

  • jetman - 2011-06-30 20:04

    "the apartheid government had left the department with challenges and backlogs" Ag please spare us the BS!

  • Sage - 2011-06-30 20:08

    We already pay for these roads, in every litre of fuel that is purchased. The fact that the regime absorbs these funds through the fiscus and then squanders it on goodness knows what rather than ring fencing it and using it for maintenance/building of roads is not the tax payers problem. I will not contribute one cent to these thieving deviants by way of yet another unaffordable tax. Oh, and by the way, blaming it on the apartheid government is trite and extremely feeble!

  • bdsteele - 2011-06-30 20:32

    Why do we pay petrol tax again?

  • Phaedioux - 2011-06-30 20:37

    What has happened to all the funds collected from the levy on fuel? What has happened to all the tolls collected on the N1, N17, N3 and N4? Why must mostly JHB people pay for roads that are used by, or for the benefit of people all over the country? JHB is a central hub for goods transported all over SA. Why sre the collections being exported?

  • Creeky - 2011-06-30 20:41


  • Mr B - 2011-06-30 20:57

    Mutshutshu Nxumalo said the apartheid government had left the department with challenges and backlogs. Typical blame apartheid. Its his thieving comrade's fingers that stole all the money that should have been put into the roads in the first place

  • 50something - 2011-06-30 21:00

    So, why are taxi's paying the least, because they pose the biggest threat to mass action? hey? Well - you re in for a surprise.

      nonduplume - 2011-07-01 06:58

      Ironic that proposed reduction on taxis is 31% and normal motorists is 18! Once again it shows who is paying for everything and that taxis are far more important than normal motorists.

  • User101 - 2011-06-30 21:15

    "Nxumalo accused the public of "crying" over the user pay system, when they were the ones using the roads." We are already paying for using the roads with the tax added to the petrol and diesel prices.

  • thefeather - 2011-06-30 22:50

    Apartheid again. Sigh.....

  • brad - 2011-06-30 22:56

    how the hell does he conclude that this is the result of the apartheid government? when the anc took over, all they had to do was maintain and gradually upgrade an already world class transport infrastructure. They left it for 16 years to fall apart while the number of road users increased and now in 2011 they are far behind and we have to fit the bill. but i guess everything is because of apartheid so this is just another case where you can use it as an excuse for none delivery.

      BigD - 2011-07-01 06:52

      He has a point. But the biggest problem to me is the money we pay per litre of petrol for road upgrades, where are those billions. Someone must take responsibility for the missing billions and tell us motorists where this money has been spent.

      Old Realist - 2011-07-01 16:09

      Actually the real problem is that the ANC took all the tax money - as well as the rate money - to "buy" votes everywhere by launching all kinds of upliftment programmes for the previously disadvantaged groups. All this was necessary BUT they screwed up 2 things. First they made useless undereducated but politically connected individuals run it and they kicked out all those who were capable (read white) of running the planning side as well. So we had the Eksdom debacle where no one actually kept an eye on the demand side, no one was qualified to make the call to MAINTAIN infrastructure timeously, now its so stuffed we have to replace at 20 times the cost. That is the simple situation. Take a look at 90% of the municipal managers - most don't even have matric. Snuff said.

  • Brian - 2011-07-01 05:22

    SA Road Federation president Mutshutshu Nxumalo said the apartheid government had left the department with challenges and backlogs. (A blatent lie hoping to put black and white against one another - Sorry but black and white stand together against the implementation of tolls)People are fed up of the ANC race wars now - try something new He said tolling was a way to gain very little money that "had to be spread thinly" to make roads safer. - Another lie - Tolling costs joe public an absolute fortune on urban roads Nxumalo accused the public of "crying" over the user pay system, when they were the ones using the roads. (of course the public is "crying" this is a total outrage) "I wish people would appreciate these things," he said ( I am sorry I don't appreciate having to spend most of my salary on taxes/tolls only to find much of it wasted )

  • Hantie Jansen van Vuuren - 2011-07-01 06:48

    The taxi's can just as well pay the same as the light vehicles. There are just two of us in my car who has to share the costs, but in a taxi there are many more, so they will pay cheaper anyway, even if the toll are the same. They are discriminating against people with cars.

  • ilollipop - 2011-07-01 07:09

    Cape Town here: This is the worst thing ever. I just trust the DA wont allow anything this stupid around here. As for the discount for e-tag users only.... it's a way to make compliance less painful and a small carrot to make the donkey feel better. Reality is that the non e-tag users who are paying more are going to then be subsidising the e-tag users.

  • johan - 2011-07-01 08:03


  • allan.clean - 2011-07-01 08:29

    how is it that cape town and durban also did road upgrades and did not get a tolling system or "have to pay" Greed and Lazyness , take from me to enrich yourself

  • Hugh - 2011-07-01 08:41

    In short what he telling us the tax paying public is "get stuffed". "We are in power and you belive what I tell you". Some fools think others have the same brain power. This may work with the general ANC voter who has been deliberately kept uneducated for the past 16 years but not with those who take the time to watch what government does.

  • Hugh - 2011-07-01 08:46

    Mahlalela intervened during the meeting, to indicate that it was "payback time" for road users. "They are built, now we have to pay for it," he said He said tolling was a way to gain very little money that "had to be spread thinly" to make roads safer. Is what being said is that the profit from the tolls now replaces all other past and current taxes so that government can spend that current monet on other things as these tolls will pay for all Gauteng roads maintenance?

  • Bokkie 36 - 2011-07-01 08:54

    Disgusting! Can you imagine what is going to do to a pensioner's budget? That means the twice monthly visit to the children in Pretoria is OUT! What with the already high fuel prices, increased electricity, water, food and medical expenses, we just do not have a chance! And to blame apartheid again?! Come on, that is really laughable, when we all know that we had a great infrastructure pre 1994, which was criminally neglected by the present government.

  • The_Lil_Wizard - 2011-07-01 10:16

    So what he is saying is the Apartheid Government left a 17 year back log, and they are still trying to clear it?

  • pages:
  • 1