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Johannesburg - It is unfortunate that commentators are not looking at the benefits of e-tolling in Gauteng, South African National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) chief executive Nazir Ali said on Monday.
“If you do calculations in terms of the loss of production, the wear and tear to your car, vehicle operation costs which increase, the pollution we were creating... Once you take that into account, the benefits far outweigh the tariffs publicised earlier this year,” he said at The New Age's business breakfast in Midrand.
Ali said that since President Jacob Zuma signed the bill providing for e-tolls, the number of people who had bought e-tags had increased. A total of 600 000 e-toll tags were in circulation.
“South Africans are law-abiding citizens. They will abide by the law and get tagged.”
Ali said 83 percent of people would only be paying R100 a month for e-tolling and others had been exaggerating the numbers.
“Less than one percent of people will actually reach that R450 (maximum) a month.”
Earlier, he said it was unfortunate that Sanral was only known for the Gauteng e-toll project.
“Eighty-four percent of our business is non-toll; there is only 16 percent of our business which is a toll road portfolio. That toll road portfolio does make a large contribution to the well-being of our entire national road network.”
Ali said 75 percent of freight in the country moved on those roads, which showed how important the network was.
“Can we for one moment just imagine that if we didn't have a good national road network, as to what would happen to the economy? Of course together with that goes the old issue about job creation, (and) the development of SMMEs (small, medium and micro enterprises).”
Sanral had 800 SMMEs looking after the country's entire road network, he said. - Sapa