RFA welcomes e-toll price shift
GO AHEAD, BUT... The Road Freight Association has offered its support to the Gauteng e-tolls initiative, but has stated this is not unconditional.
The Road Freight Association (RFA) has welcomed the cuts in e-toll tariffs for Gauteng's freeways - but with conditions.
Spokesman Gavin Kelly said on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 the RFA's support was based on current costs and the introduction of an independent regulator.
Kelly said: "We maintain that the administration costs for collection and our internal administration could have been avoided if fuel levies had been used and earmarked to fund the freeway upgrades but rising fuel prices mean the current discounted e-toll tariffs will have a lesser cost effect on operators and ultimately the least impact on the Consumer Price Index."
The SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) said on October 26, 2012 that e-tolling would cost car owners with e-tags 30c/km, 25% less than the original 40c/km set in 2011.
The e-tag tariff for motorcycles had also been cut - from 24c/km to 18c/km - while medium heavy vehicles (Class B) goes from R1/km to 75c and heavy vehicles (Class C) from R2/km to R1.50.
'NOT BLANKET APPROVAL'
Kelly said the RFA was still concerned about how Sanral collects the tolls. "The proposal to allow Sanral to operate outside the National Credit Act may create further complications when measures are instituted to recoup or collect owed tolls. We have also clearly stated that our support for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project is not blanket approval for any other toll project."
Despite the October 26 announcement, the court review of the e-toll system was set for November 26, 2012.
In September, 2012, the Constitutional Court overturned an interim order which had put a hold on Gauteng e-tolling. Back in April 2012 the High Court in Pretoria granted the interdict, ruling that a full review needed to be carried out before electronic tolling could be put into effect.
The interdict prevented Sanral from levying or collecting e-tolls pending the outcome of the review.
Sanral and the state treasury appealed against the order because the delays prevented recoupment of the costs of building the freeways and gantries.