Gauteng tolls a 'fact of life'
RESISTANCE IS FUTILE: Government spokesman Jimmy Manyi has seemingly addressed any lingering doubts about Gauteng's e-tolls.
Gauteng toll fees are set to become a fact of life and the law and the government will tolerate no disobedience, government spokesman Jimmy Manyi said on Thursday.
He advised freeway users in the province to go out and buy their e-tags, the use of which would allow drivers a substantial discount on the fees charged.
Manyi said: "This is not just a bad dream; it's a reality, it's going to happen. No one should have any illusion whatsoever that this thing is going to go away. It's a fact of life and it's going to happen."
So, law abiding citizens, buy your e-tags. E-toll is coming. Don't harbour any thought that this... might go back," Manyi told reporters at Parliament in Cape Town following finance minister Pravin Gordhan's 2012 budget speech on Wednesday, February 22.
"If you're not going to obey the law, the law will take its course. Period," Manyi continued. "I want this to be abundantly clear."
He added the fiscus could no longer continue to "carry the burden" of freeway maintenance.
"The user-payer principle has been affirmed. Let it be very clear that we are marching ahead and this is going to be a fact of life. Cabinet is firm. There will be e-tolls. There will be a law passed to make sure there is a necessary remedy to deal with the transgressors."
Earlier, Manyi provided further details of the new toll fees and Cabinet's approval of a reduction in tariffs for vehicles with e-tags.
With effect from April 30, 2012, motorcycles with e-tags would pay 20 cents a kilometre and those without, 38 cents.
Light motor vehicles would pay 30 cents and 58 cents respectively, and non-articulated trucks 75 cents and R1.45. Articulated trucks with e-tags would pay R1.51 a kilometre and those without R2.90.
Manyi said these reductions were made possible by a once-off contribution of R5.8 billion via the fiscus to the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral).
The new fee system also ensured that the cost for motorcycles and light vehicles would be capped at R550 a month.
"Time of the day" savings of 20% for heavy vehicles would help deal with the freight industry's concerns, Manyi said.
"This allows for lower toll fees for off peak times to reduce congestion during peak hours and reduce the economic impact of the toll fees for consumers."
Commuter public transport - taxis and buses - remained exempt from the toll fees.