E-tolling needs to be reviewed: official report

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has released the findings of the 2014 e-toll panel review, which found that the system, in its current form, is not affordable or sustainable.

Premier Makhura presented the findings of the report at a media briefing, and was joined by MEC of finance Barbara Creecy and MEC for transport Ismail Vadi.

These were the key findings announced by Makhura:

  • The implementation of the project has benefited the economy of the province in terms of reducing traffic and travelling times, benefiting businesses.
  • While there is general acceptance of the user-pay principle, in its current form, the e-toll system is not affordable and places a disproportionate burden on the low and middle-class households.
  • The system is an administrative burden.
  • The panel’s primary recommendation is that elements of the current system must be reviewed for fairness and sustainability.

The panel also called for a “massive expansion” of public transport.

According to Makhura, the full report contains close to 60 other recommendations which cover the various details and results of the impact assessment.

Provincial government is working with Tshwane, Johannesburg, and Ekhuruleni to consider the best funding model moving forward, Makhura said.

A possible funding mechanism being looked at in the report is a hybrid funding model – which details a number of revenue streams, including contributions from car users, with a “more affordable” flat rate.

Makhura said he would hold a consultative meeting in February to determine the best funding method.

“We take the view that every next step must be working with the people of Gauteng,” Makhura said.

An official announcement will be made by government after the consultation process.

In the mean time, Makhura said road users should keep paying e-tolls.

“As we are finding appropriate responses to the concerns raised, my advice would be that people should continue to pay while we find a lasting solution,” the premier said.

The Advisory Panel was established by Premier Makhura in July 2014 to conduct a comprehensive socio-economic impact assessment of e-tolls.

The panel heard presentations from all sectors of Gauteng, including road user groups, opposition groups, unions, businesses, and even Sanral and the department of transport.

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E-tolling needs to be reviewed: official report