PRETORIA: The e-tolling system on Gauteng's roads will now only commence next year. The Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill regulating government's ability to charge motorists for using the tolls was withdrawn from Parliament on Thursday, 22 November 2012, and will now be debated next year, it was reported.
Following a recommendation of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP), led by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Cabinet recently decided that the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) should proceed with the implementation of the e-tolling system.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee has since May this year engaged in a series of stakeholder consultations involving organised labour, business, the commercial transport sector, organisations representing people with disabilities and the religious community.
In the consultations there was agreement by all parties that the tolled roads have improved, and travelling times have been reduced.
Most of the stakeholders consulted agreed on the user pay principle and further, that the e-toll system should be part of a mix of mechanisms to be employed to address the problem of congestion, as well as to raise funding for the construction and maintenance of freeways.
Stakeholders raised concerns about the high operational costs for the e-toll system. Government shared this concern and committed that everything possible would be done to reduce these costs and limit the financial burden on the consumers.