The traffic on the M1 highway from Soweto towards the Crown Interchange was at a stand still, the Johannesburg metro police said on Tuesday.
JMPD spokeswoman Edna Mamonyane said traffic was "chock a block" and that it had not eased up since the early morning.
That route is not tolled and is close to the N1 which is subject to e-tolls.
Tuesday marked the first day of the controversial e-tolls, managed by Sanral, which compels motorists to pay to use certain highways around Gauteng via an e-tag.
Mamonyane said: "Coming in from the west; Hendrik Potgieter, Ontdekkers and Main Reef roads are heavy, which happens on a daily basis."