"This suspension will go a long way in assisting communities affected by the closure of alternative roads, which have been damaged by the floods,” Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, said.
The intervention follows representations from affected communities and a formal request by KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government to waiver toll fees on major transport routes, including the N2 economic corridor, to cushion the financial burden on citizens.
This comes as most roads in the province have been severely damaged or washed away by the recent floods.
This then resulted in the locals and other motorists paying toll fees they would not ordinarily have to pay if the alternative roads were operational.
Following the declaration of the national state of disaster by the President in the wake of the floods in KwaZulu-Natal, Mbalula said the department has been seized with urgent interventions to alleviate the plight of the people affected by the disaster.
"The damage to the roads in KwaZulu-Natal is extensive resulting in the closure of many roads to allow for clearing and rebuilding. Amongst the interventions, I made a request to the Board of the South African National Roads Agency to consider intervention that include suspension of toll fees in seriously affected areas.
"The Sanral b, in line with its mandate, took a resolution to suspend the payment of toll fees at the uThongathi and Mvoti Toll Plazas on the N2 toll route in KwaZulu-Natal," Mbalula said.
Sanral board has resolved that the payment of toll fees at the uThongathi and Mvoti Toll Plazas on the N2 Toll Route will be suspended as an interim measure with effect from 6pm on 22 April 2022.
Mbalula said the repair of the alternative roads, while these interim measures are in place, will be prioritised and accelerated to make it possible for the affected communities to use them again as soon as possible.
"The cost to Sanral as a result of this decision will constitute an additional contribution by Sanral to the relief of the disaster. Over the next few months, Sanral will be the lead agency, as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa, on the extensive work required to repair roads in the province," Mbalula said.
Mbalula said that government, business and all organs of civil society must work together to respond to the plight of those impacted on by this devastation and "do everything in our power to ensure their lives return to normal as speedily as possible".
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