More e-toll regulations given the chop

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IOL mot pic jun8 Gantry 1 INLSA The costs of the entire project, over the 24 years of the project life, could top R100 billion. Picture: Karen Sandison

Another set of e-toll regulations has been withdrawn.

The regulation notice on how e-tolls were to be paid for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project was withdrawn this week with immediate effect by the SA National Roads Agency Ltd.

The original notice, number 320, was issued on April 18. That notice sets out where and when payments for tolls must be made. It also listed the e-toll customer centres where payments could be made.

This is the second withdrawal of regulations by Sanral since the suspension of tolling on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.

On 31 May 31 transport minister S’bu Ndebele withdrew the notice on tariffs for Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project tolls, which had been issued less than two months before.

NEW TARIFFS

That notice set out the toll tariffs for 49 e-toll points, discounts, and defined five categories of GFIP-toll road users, depending on whether they were registered with Sanral and had e-tags or not.

Finance minister Pravin Gordhan indicated in papers to the Constitutional Court recently that the tariffs would be withdrawn and new tariffs issued.

On April 28, the Pretoria High Court granted an urgent interim interdict suspending the implementation of the GFIP tolling, pending a review of the government’s 2008 decisions to toll the roads. The interdict followed an application by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance and others.

COST OF COLLECTION

Hours before the high court decision, Ndebele announced that the implementation of tolling would be suspended.

The Concourt has agreed to hear an application by the national Treasury and Sanral for leave to appeal against the high court interdict. The application is due to be heard in August.

Much of the public objection to the tolling of the roads, and the court battle against this, has revolved around the cost of the project, particularly the cost of collecting the tolls.

The court papers so far have indicated that the costs of the entire project, over the 24 years of the project life, could top R100 billion.

Sanral’s papers to the Concourt totted up the costs to almost R90 billion, while the alliance’s papers said it had found another R13 billion in contract costs.

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