The decision on the future of electronic tolling (e-tolls) in Gauteng is a political one, says South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) engineering executive Louw Kannemeyer.
Speaking at the Transport Forum, held in Johannesburg on Thursday, he told Engineering News Online that opposing messages from politicians on the future of e-tolls had created uncertainty with the public on whether they should pay their e-toll bills.
“People now say Sanral is from the devil,” he noted. “But that does not solve our funding problem.”
Kannemeyer said the existence and future of e-tolls was a “political conversation that should be solved politically”.
He noted that Cabinet approved e-tolls in 2007, as part of the preparations and requirements for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.
As National Treasury had no money to built the proposed freeway expansion project in Gauteng, it was decided that the roads would be funded through e-tolling.
“Cabinet will have to sit down and make a decision on the future of e-tolls. [Sanral] has done everything [government] has asked. We were asked for various scenarios and we have provided that. In time, there will have to be a decision. When this will be has not been communicated to us.”
Around 30% of users on Gauteng’s freeways are currently paying their e-toll bills.