E-toll unhappiness, funding model explained

Gauteng roads and transport MEC Ismail Vadi says that the current e-tolls on Gauteng’s freeways will not be scrapped, despite new funding mechanisms being discussed by government.

Vadi commented on Monday, after he was quoted in the Sunday Independent as saying that the Gauteng government is taking a second look at e-tolls as a funding source for building highways in the province.

“We have had long discussions in the ANC Gauteng and in government…There is still dissatisfaction with the funding model,” Vadi told the newspaper.

“E-tolls still remain a valid option but there are also discussions about a provincial fuel levy or a provincial tax or shadow tolling.”

“Plans are at an advanced stage to see how best we can fund our roads which include the remaining phases of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project,” Vadi said.

He said that phase one of the project, launched in December, would not be phased out.

Vadi did say, however, that government was looking at alternative funding methods for future projects.

Sanral comments

Vusi Mona, Sanral General Manager of Communications, said that the funding model for roads – new, upgraded and/or maintained – does not lie within the purview of Sanral.

“We investigate multiple funding options, but the decision ultimately lies with institutions such as the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC), National Treasury and other relevant government departments both at project approval and implementation stages,” said Mona.

Mona noted that Sanral’s financial survival is not dependent on tolling as this constitutes only 16% of our national roads portfolio.

“Also note that e-tolling is an alternate, automated means of payment that does not require a road user to stop-and-pay-tolls. Finally, note that Sanral is an implementer of government policy,” said Mona.

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E-toll unhappiness, funding model explained