Gauteng e-tolling To Start in April 2012

Pretoria - Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and Gauteng MEC for Transport Ismail Vadi on Tuesday registered their official vehicles for the e-tolling system, due to start operating on 30 April.

This was part of an event to mark to beginning of the process to have about 6000 Gauteng provincial government vehicles registered for the e-tolling system.

South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) Chief Executive Officer Nazir Alli said so far more than 320 000 Gauteng motorists had registered for e-tolling.

He said that there were many advantages for registering, including being entitled to discounts and free break down assistance.

Vehicles will be removed or towed to a safe place.

Commenting on the e-tolling, Mokonyane said the provincial government was committed in improving the province's infrastructure. "We will be going out to communities to explain to them about the e-tolling system," she said.

She called on other motorists to register their vehicles.

SANRAL will request that Gauteng road users register their vehicles for e-tolling. Road users will have the option to be recognised by their number plates, or by an e-tag.

According to Alli, motorists who do not register their vehicles will not be able to renew their license disc until they have paid all that they owe.

The implementation of the e-tolls system was halted in January after a public outcry over the fees. However, government is set to commence the programme from 30 April after Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced a special approbation of R5.8 billion to reduce the toll burden on motorists as a result of the GFIP.

The R5.8 billion, to be included in the 2011/12 expenditure, is aimed at reducing the debt to be repaid through the toll system, and will make a steeper discount possible for regular road users. The contribution by government will ensure that tariffs are reduced by up to half the price for e-tag holders.

The total debt associated with Gauteng freeway programme is R20 billion.

The new fee structure will see drivers of e-tag vehicles pay 30 cents a kilometer, instead of 66 cents as originally planned. There will also be a monthly cap of R550 for frequent users. In addition, there will be a 15 percent discount in the rates after their toll fees reach R400.

Drivers of motorcycles will pay 20 cents per kilometre and non-articulated and articulated trucks would pay 75 cents and R1.51 per kilometre respectively.

Heavy vehicles will qualify for a 20 percent discount if they use the roads during off-peak times in the day.

Taxis and other public transport operators will be exempt from toll fees.

- BuaNews