Toll Trauma : More talks to be held on tolling system

Pretoria - There will be further talks on the implementation of the tolling system to be levied on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP), with a summit expected to be held next month, Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele said on Thursday.

"Over the past weeks, we have been listening to the various views regarding the tolling of the GFIP. There will be further engagement on this matter. However, constructive proposals and solutions are required. There will be no scapegoats," said Minister Ndebele.

Further engagement will culminate in a specific roads funding summit in March 2011 to be hosted by the department.

The announcement of the tariffs recently was met with heated debate from the taxi industry, labour, opposition parties, the business sector as well as the general public who make use of the freeway network.

The minister said that the taxi industry, through the leadership of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco), has shown leadership on this matter and has already come forward with proposals.

"The user-pay principle to upgrade and expand Gauteng freeways was mooted by the Gauteng provincial government in the late 1990s. Since then, there have been numerous engagements and consultations between national government, provincial and local government in Gauteng as well as other stakeholders," said Ndebele.

"We need good roads throughout the country and we have to come up with innovative ways to finance them," said the minister.

- BuaNews