There are still questions remaining about the cost of collection of e-tolls, even after a meeting between the inter-ministerial committee on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) and the Road Freight Association (RFA) and car rental companies that form part of the South African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (Savrala).
Wayne Duvenage, chief executive of Avis, told Moneyweb that he was encouraged by the deputy-president, who chairs the inter-ministerial committee, willingness to listen to their concerns.
“He indicated that he had heard enough concerns and discussions to show that there is a need for a longer meeting to understand what is going on. Otherwise we will get nowhere,” Duvenage said.
He indicated that although the South African National Roads Agency and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) gave presentations, he feels that there is still no clarity on the true cost of collecting the e-tolls. This is one of the main concerns from most stakeholders, stating that using the fuel levy would be administratively cheaper.
Sharmini Naidoo, CEO of the RFA, confirmed that a second meeting will take place in the next couple of weeks.
She said that the RFA found the meeting quite positive, as it had the opportunity to raise some of the issues the association has with the e-tolling system.
“One of our issues is that the cost of the e-tolling system is ridiculous. It seems the deputy-president is open to suggestions. It is a step in the right direction,” she said.
She said that the RFA is aware that the government is planning to possibly roll out more e-tolling system across the country seeing as the GFIP was only Phase 1.
“The government will have to follow the same process it did with the GFIP, proclaiming the roads as toll roads. This time the people are more aware of the impact of this and it won’t be so easy,” she told Moneyweb.