Price inflation cannot not be blamed on the cost of Gauteng’s e-tolls, a panel reviewing the system heard in Pretoria on Wednesday.
“If there are problems in the pricing structure, it is not an e-toll problem,” transport department acting director general Mawethu Vilana said.
Trucking and goods companies decided on prices and were in the wrong if they decided to impose exorbitant prices due to the tolls, he said.
One of the arguments against the electronic tolling system had been that it would increase the prices of goods transported by road.
Vilana argued that if a truck paid R1.50 per gantry the cost of a single item in the truck should not be increased by that amount. Instead the R1.50 should be spread across all the goods in the truck.
“But it just can’t be an e-toll problem,” said Vilana, adding that goods pricing fell out of his department’s jurisdiction.
Vilana was answering questions from the panel appointed by Gauteng premier David Makhura in July to review the tolling system.
It was set up to examine the economic and social impact of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project and the e-tolling system set up to fund it.
The panel was expected to present its findings to Makhura at the end of the month.