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E-toll price increases: Angry users respond

2016-02-18 09:42

TARIFF HIKE: Gauteng road users can expect to fork out more cash for e-toll bills in March. Image: iStock

Johannesburg - On Wednesday, Wheels24 reported that Gauteng drivers will have to cough-up much more as e-tolls are set to increase by almost 5% from March 2016.

The fee increases were published in the Government Gazette (#39695), issued on Tuesday (February 16).

Read - Govt to raise e-toll prices: Here's how much you will pay

The increases comes barely six months after the tariffs were reduced as a result of a public outcry, and discounts of up to 60% were offered on outstanding balances before September 2015. 

The Automobile Association said: "Once again we would have preferred Sanral to be more upfront with this information, and to try and win over support, rather than relying on other organisations such as ourselves to inform the media and the public." 

READ: Bad news for motorists as Gauteng e-tolls set to increase

Wayne Duvenage, chairman of the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA), said: “We are disgusted that SANRAL and the Department of Transport have this attitude and approach of continuously applying mandatory annual increases to all toll plazas in its growing toll network, whilst the use and income generated by the various tolling contracts have serious questions, about which OUTA is busy conducting intensive research and investigation.”

Here's how much you're set to pay as per the Goverment Gazette:

Angry Wheels24 users respond:

John Naidoo: What a poor example of govt's corrupted ways of taking the law into their own hands. They forget the basic constitutional rights of freedom to travel from the ordinary citizens of this country.

I salute you Mr John Clarke for standing by what you believe to be an outrageous attempt by govt to force us to pay. I, for one, will not pay any etoll fees.

READ: Outa - Toll roads have become cash cows

@FreeLefase: This is not on. ETOLLS MUST FALL. ETOLLS MUST FLY A KITE.

Judy van der Merwe: No I do not pay e-tolls and never will. My account must be about R30 000 by now.


Ryno Bothma: No, it is a scam. What do I get out of it? Absolutely nothing, they claim they have vehicles helping people in need, but I have never even seen a Sanral vehicle that helps motorist. They a bunch of thieves. They cant tell people of the price increase, they published it in the govt Gazzet but they will not inform people. For me that is low-life scumbag thieves. #EtollsMustFall #SanralSteelFromSA.

Hennie Smith: "Trust". There is a general mistrust in the system and the administrators. People will never submit to a system that is not trustworthy and which is plain stupid and unfair. Tollgates is a silly idea. To put a boom on a highway is simply stupid. In Italy they have a system where you receive a ticket when you enter, and pay when you exit. All self-service, automated and fair. No idiotic, unreliable, expensive numberplate monitoring system. Do you really need someone sitting at a boom all day to swipe your card or hand you change. To pay somebody sitting all day doing bugger all just goes against my grain. Only in Africa. We have robots that can do it cheaper, faster and more reliable. 

@EphraimPhalafa1: Unfair to few of us paying when millions refuses.

Chris Waterworth: 1. In general, if road development and upkeep is seen as being a State responsibility because it is good for the nation as a whole then the costs should be paid from taxes in the same manner as other state costs are paid.  Various countries have different views on what should be considered state funded services so there is room for debate, but typically these may include defence, health services, pensions, roads, etc.

2. I can accept the principle of "the user pays" as an alternative to state funding from taxes where the benefit of a particular state-provided service is not shared across the whole nation's population. In the case of the Gauteng e-tolls I am not convinced that the benefit is not shared: South Africa is different to many other countries in that it has very few cities for its size and most of its industry is concentrated in the cities of Gauteng from where goods are distributed to other parts of the country. Goods originating in Gauteng are priced to include direct tolls and labour costs which must cater to some degree for the costs incurred by the local workforce of travelling on the e-toll routes. So everyone is paying for the roads through higher product costs - just not directly.

3. The tolling of the Johannesburg access roads and ring roads was put forward in the South African press as an 'April Fool's' joke in the mid 1980s. The article received a very heated [and negative] response from those readers who did not catch the date of the publication. If this was actually market research for a future proposal as several of us - accurately, it seems - thought it may be, then going ahead with the program was probably not a very bright idea.  But then, governments - especially ours - don't necessarily take into account the public's views in determining policy. This government should not be too surprised at the public backlash through OUTA.

4. Personally, while I acknowledge that the road upgrade was necessary, I think it was not well planned or executed.  In particular, the William Nichol and Rivonia road junctions fail miserably to meet the current needs of motorists.  The situation will only get worse with time.  An opportunity to fix this, which may have required expropriation of land to accommodate a working traffic flow was missed.

5. I was one of the first to buy an e-tag. I took the view that if I was to use the tolled roads, I would pay my dues but at the minimum cost, i.e., the discounted rate. At the same time, I deliberately found alternative toll-free routes to most of the places I frequent. I am fortunate in that I don't need to travel in the rush hour and I have stopped going to places where I need to pay tolls. I am therefore a legitimate e-toll user but I am not actively supporting the payment of the roads. For me, I do not want the cost to be covered by a fuel levy increase because that will be an extra cost to me. 

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