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E-tolls take another step closer

2013-05-27 13:05

CREEPING CLOSE: The department of transport and SANRAL have finally published draft regulations and notices relating to the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) for public comment. Image: News24

The Minister of Transport and the South African National Road Agency Ltd have at last published draft regulations and notices relating to the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project for public comment.

The regulations and notices were published in the Government Gazette on Friday 24 May 2013.

Wheels24 reported that the controversial Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill was withdrawn from the National Assembly order paper during November 2012. It has since then been given a green light again.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions has protested several times against the project and even the Catholic Church has denounced the e-toll projects.

The information explains how the tolling process will work and includes e-road regulations, e-road specification regulations, regulations on exemption from payment of GFIP tolls, the Amendment to the National Road Traffic Regulations, the conditions and exemptions of e-toll payments; and those for qualifying public transport services and emergency vehicles.

The published details of the tolling regulations came just days after the National Council of Provinces approved the Transport and Related Matters Amendment Bill on May 22 and the government prepares to implement the e-toll system in Gauteng.

Sanral chief executive officer Nazir Alli claimed: “With the publication of the notices and regulations as well as the National Council of Provinces decision this week we are starting to implement the final steps before e-tolling begins. We encourage those who have not yet registered for their e-tags to do so now. There are a few steps left in this process but the implementation of the e-toll system is well on its way."

He added: "Sanral believes tolling is a sustainable way of paying for the upgrade of the Gauteng freeway system. It is a tool that is used selectively to meet the challenges of a constrained fiscus and maintaining the road infrastructure."

Interested parties have 30 days to submit written comments on the draft documents.

Once the bill is signed into law by Jacob Zuma e-tolling in Gauteng will commence.

“We as Sanral are ready to implement the e-tolling system. We have followed all due process and have all the necessary infrastructure in place. Once all the legislative requirements have been met, we will implement,” Alli claimed.

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