Tembakazi Mnyaka, chairman of SA National Roads Agency Limited (
Last week (20 November), Transport Minister Dipuo Peters announced that e-tolls will commence on 3 December 2013 on Gauteng’s highways.
In an opinion article for BusinessDay, Mnayka said that news about the so-called “downside” of the e-tolling project is vastly exaggerated.
The chair opined that the financial effect of e-tolling would not be significant.
“Take a look at the oft-repeated assertion that e-tolling will cost you an arm and a leg. Respected economist Azar Jammine of Econometrix did the sums: the drain on total private consumption expenditure will be about 0.1% — that is, R1 for every R1,000.”
“For those in Gauteng, it will automatically be higher — at 0.3%, or R3 for R1,000 spent. Mr Jammine is not a great fan of e-tolling but even he acknowledges the effect will not be that significant,” Mnayka said.
Sanral warned that those parties advising people to go on a campaign of civil disobedience, were in fact being asked to break the law. “Let’s be clear about that: you are being asked to break the law because your costs might go up by R3 for every R1,000 you spend.”
“To achieve what? A show of strength or to plant a seed that society may later regret? When society reaps the whirlwind of civil disobedience, no one emerges a winner.”
Mnayka said that government had listened to, “and bent over backwards” to accommodate legitimate concerns.
“If you are worried that you travel these wonderful highways frequently and this will mean increased costs, don’t be: there are frequent user discounts. The more you drive on the highways, the more the unit cost comes down,” Mnayka said.
Sanral noted that the time of day in which motorists traveled would also influence the amount payable. “Drive when there is less traffic and it will cost you less.”
There is also a cap of R450 a month and it has been calculated that less than 1% of road users will pay that sum. Almost 83% of all road users will have to pay less than R100,” Mnayka said.
“These are the simple facts about e-tolling. The rest that you, the ordinary road user, have heard or read is so over the top you can safely ignore it.”
“When e-tolling kicks in, you will be surprised at how little your pocket has been affected — and wonder what the fuss and noise was all about,” the chairman said.
More on e-tolls