Ring-fence an e-toll levy to make system viable, AA suggests

Outa - the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse - hold a protest against e-tolls on the N1 highway in Johannesburg, 26 October 2018. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

After releasing a Road Funding Report, the AA found it was clear that road users had no intention of paying e-tolls.

The Automobile Association (AA) has suggested the South African National Roads Agency’s (Sanral) Gauteng freeway improvement project should ring-fence an e-toll levy linked to the general fuel levy, saying in its current form it was doomed to failure.

Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula spoke briefly about e-tolls on Wednesday. Relevant parties in government were working hard to honour the obligation and reduce the burden on Gauteng road users.

After releasing a Road Funding Report, the AA found it was clear that road users had no intention of paying e-tolls.

AA spokesperson Layton Beard said: “Compliance rates are too low to make this system viable, and no attempts – either financial or legal – are going to change that. Consumers … have dug in their heels on this issue.

“A perfectly reasonable, immediate and viable solution is already within government’s ambit. Ring-fencing is the only workable solution…”

The model was intended to deal with the funding of the freeway project and did not deal with the issue of the approximately R90 billion debt racked up so far.

Beard also said road users who had been paying for e-tolls should be reimbursed.

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