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Slight change to maximum e-toll rate

Published May 27, 2013

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The start of Gauteng’s e-tolling has moved a little closer with the gazetting of the long-awaited revised e-toll regulations and costs.

While the new prices offer a little relief to motorcyclists and car drivers, it won’t really make a difference in collections, according to the SA National Roads Agency Limited’s own calculations.

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The draft notices were gazetted on Friday, offering 30 days for public comment.

The payment system is still designed to encourage motorists to buy e-tags and register for e-toll accounts – two different steps – with punitive tariffs more than five times higher for those who avoid this.

The toll tariffs for all categories of users and types of vehicles are the same as those gazetted in October.

What has changed slightly is the maximum amount a user will pay, based on a frequent-user discount calculated on the e-toll usage each calendar month. These frequent-user discounts are offered only to motorists with registered e-tags.

Vehicles are assessed separately, even if they are on the same account.

LOWER CAP FOR MOTORISTS

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Motorcyclists (class A1 vehicles) get the biggest break, with a cap of R250 on tolls in a single calendar month, down from R400.

Cars (class A2) get a slightly better deal than before, with 15 percent discount for further use once the monthly bill reaches R400, and a cap of R450. This is lower than the previous cap of R550 a month.

The caps for heavy vehicles remain the same, with a R1750 a month maximum for Class B vehicles and a R3 500 maximum for Class C.

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According to Sanral’s own calculations, reducing the monthly cap is unlikely to drop the e-tolling income much.

In mid-April, Sanral spokesman Vusi Mona said the agency had calculated that less than 1 percent of users would pay the then cap of R550 a month, while more than 90 percent of motorists would pay less than R200, and about 80 percent would pay less than R100 a month.

This was calculated on rates for registered e-tag users and worked out from actual use by 2.5 million vehicles on Gauteng freeways.

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The new notices again include time-of-day discounts, still calculated on the standard tariff, not on the cheaper registered e-tag rate. The notices include a page on how to fix an e-tag to a vehicle, and how it works.

One beep from an e-tag driving under a gantry means the motorist was successfully billed, two beeps means not enough money in the e-tag account, and four beeps means the transaction failed.

Emergency vehicles and public transport vehicles may be exempted from e-tolls; these vehicles must be registered with Sanral.

Public transport vehicles that may apply for exemption include minibus taxis, contracted services, scheduled commuter transport and scholar services.

The draft notices are available on the Sanral website.

NOT REGISTERED? YOU’LL PAY FIVE TIMES MORE

Gauteng e-toll tariffs remain the same as those gazetted in October.

Non-registered e-tag users and registered vehicle licence number (VLN) users pay the standard tariff. Registered e-tag users pay about half the standard tariff, the cheapest rate.

The most expensive tolls are levied on the “alternate users”, who do not have e-tags and are not registered – these users pay more than five times the rate for registered e-tag users.

For example, the Loerie gantry on the west-bound N12 at Gillooly’s (the gantry which traffic from the N12 goes under to go through Gillooly’s) is R1.98 for a car (a Class A user) which is a registered e-tag user, R3.83 for a non-registered e-tag user or registered VLN user, and R11.49 for everyone else.

A heavy vehicle (Class C) going through Loerie pays R16.50 with a registered e-tag, R31.90 with a non-registered e-tag or a registered VLN, and R95.70 for the others. Day users pay R30 (cars) to R250 (heavy vehicles) for 24-hour access.

TYPES OF USERS

Registered e-tag users: Those who have e-tags, are registered with Sanral, have enough funds in their e-toll accounts and have an agreed payment method.

Non-registered e-tag users: Those with e-tags on their vehicles with sufficient e-tag credit, but who are not registered with Sanral.

VLN users: Those registered with Sanral for a specific motor vehicle, based on the vehicle licence number (VLN).

Registered users: Users with e-tags or VLN users who have registered with Sanral to pay tolls.

HOW TO REGISTER

To register, motorists must provide Sanral with information including: their names; ID or business registration number; vehicle licence number, make, model and colour; physical address; a proposed method of payment; and an undertaking to pay.

Sanral may take civil or criminal action to collect outstanding tolls. -The Star

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