The government was warned in 2010 that collection costs for the controversial e-toll system would be considerably higher than a petrol levy or tax, Beeld newspaper reported on Monday.

This emerged from an economic analysis report of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, which was overseen by the University of Cape Town, and given to the SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) in 2010.

“To pay for roads through taxation, or through a fuel levy, is simply cheaper than imposing a toll on the roads, even if it's done through an open road tolling system. The costs of collection are lower, because they don't include the costs of toll collection,” the report said.

The High Court in Pretoria last month halted the e-toll project in Gauteng, ruling that Sanral was forbidden from levying or collecting e-tolls pending the outcome of a judicial review.

Sanral CEO Nazir Alli has since resigned. The government is in the process of appealing the judgment. – Sapa