Thumbs-down for revised tolls
The ANC in Gauteng has come out strongly against revised toll fees and calls the Gautrain an elitist mode of transport.
Provincial ANC spokesman Dumisa Ntuli said the Gauteng tolling system was just a “money-making scheme”.
This is not the first time the governing party in the province has voiced its objection to the tolling of Gauteng’s freeways. Their objection is the latest from the ANC’s component structures after the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) and Cosatu voiced their opposition.
Earlier this year the ANC in the province and Premier Nomvula Mokonyane were vociferous in their objection to the toll fees, which were then proposed at 66c/km for ordinary vehicles without an e-tag. This was despite the province being involved in the decision to improve Gauteng’s freeways and use tolling to pay for the infrastructure.
Mokonyane said at the time it was a different team involved in the process and the new leaders did not know about the proposed toll fees.
After the provincial ANC’s objections, the toll fees were suspended, and a transport steering committee was formed to look at a new fee structure.
At the end of June the steering committee proposed a new fee of 58c/km without an e-tag for cars. Minister of Transport S’bu Ndebele still has to announce the final fee structure and when the tolling of the roads will begin.
Ntuli said they were still not satisfied with the proposed reduction in tariffs and they objected to the project as a whole because of the lack of public transport involved.
“The revised new tariffs are minimal and will still be expensive for road users,” Ntuli said.
“It is just pulling the wool over people’s eyes that the tolls are reduced. The PWC (provincial working committee) advocates boldly for a drastic revision of toll fees.”
Ntuli said the tolling system was problematic because it was “implausible for improvement of infrastructure” and harmful for public transport development.
He said the initial conceptualisation of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project was to promote integrated public transport and improve infrastructure, but this had been abandoned.
The toll roads were not the only system under attack. Ntuli was not complimentary about the Gautrain, saying an integrated rail system should rather have been adopted. - The Star