Image: Bongiwe Mchunu

Only 14 percent of Gauteng drivers have bought, or intend to buy, an e-toll tag. This is according to an Ipsos poll investigating the attitudes of the public towards the e-tolling plans.

The research was conducted prior to the interdict against the e-tolling passed by the Pretoria High Court in April this year.

More than two-thirds (66 percent) have not or will not buy an e-toll tag and 72 percent disagree with the entire concept.

“The opposition to the e-tolling initiative has been highly vocalised by the public and in the media,” states Mari Harris, Public Affairs Director at Ipsos. “The numbers in our survey simply confirm this opposition with the intended non-cooperation of Gauteng drivers.”

In a poll conducted by Synovate (now incorporated into Ipsos) last year, 69 percent of Gauteng drivers agreed that they would pay the e-toll fees and supported the concept if the fee was significantly reduced. This was prior to the release of the final tariff rates, which indeed reflected a big drop from the initial proposed fee.

According to this latest survey, almost two-thirds (64 percent) of drivers still believe that the tariffs are unreasonable, even taking into account the discounts for frequency and time of day.

When asked whether the government should find an alternative to e-tolling, 63 percent of Gauteng drivers responded favourably. Just under a fifth (18 percent) were against an alternative solution and the remainder (22 percent) were undecided.

“Support for the system has dwindled to a very large extent,” states Harris. “One could speculate this is a result of a few factors; namely the prospect of the system actually being implemented, the bad publicity around the system and the unfortunate miscommunication of the project from its inception. Whereas the Gauteng public were prepared to pay a reduced fee this time last year, they are now not considering buying a tag at all.”

The Treasury’s application for leave to appeal against the Pretoria High Court’s e-tolling interdict will be heard on August 15. -Pretoria News Motoring