Toll costs reveal two faces of ANC
It’s unacceptable and expensive ...
Disastrous. That’s what the ANC in Gauteng thinks of the proposed freeway toll.
This is the view of ANC Gauteng provincial secretary David Makhura.
Yesterday, the ANC Gauteng provincial working committee (PWC) expressed “grave concern” about the impact the tolls would have on the province.
Last week, the SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) announced that commuters would be paying up to 66c/km for use of the N1 freeway.
According to Makhura, the tolls were discussed in an ordinary meeting of the PWC during which members were worried about the social and economic impact the tolls would have on residents.
“The tolling is going to hugely increase the cost of living and the cost of doing business in Gauteng.
“In the absence of an affordable, reliable and efficient public transport system, the proposed tolling system will have disastrous consequences for the people of Gauteng,” he said.
Makhura noted that Sanral had not done any public consultation on its tolling strategy.
The provincial ANC, Makhura said, would be convening another meeting to discuss the impact on society of the e-toll and were going to come up with proposals on what they would do next. - Angelique Serrao
IF YOU DOn’t like it, take a hike ....
IF YOU don’t like the price of a toll road, hop on a taxi, a bus or a train instead. This is the message from Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele.
In an apparent response to public outrage at proposed toll fees in Gauteng, Ndebele said in Cape Town yesterday that residents of Africa’s economic engine now had a choice of transport modes and therefore could not complain about the price of tolls.
“It is not as if people in that province don’t have a choice… You are no longer forced to take your car and take the back roads (to avoid toll roads)… There is a very clear choice that the whole continent of Africa does not have.”
He said this message had so far not been properly articulated by the government.
Ndebele suggested that other forms of road – and rail – transport offered Gauteng residents alternatives to toll roads and noted that public transport cost about 16 cents a kilometre, compared to about 66c for private transport.
“The Gauteng user today faces choices based on cost and the degree of convenience. The (more) varied the choice, the easier the decision,” he said.
Ndebele identified these choices as: the Gautrain; the freeways between Tshwane, Joburg and OR Tambo International Airport; the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa commuter and business express services; and alternative road routes.
“All these projects, totalling about R60 billion, came at a cost. The question South Africa must ask is where this cost should be located,” he said.
And for residents of Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth, who might envy the apparent transport choices of Gautengers, the message was clear: you’re next.
The transport department planned to bring similar transport alternatives to all major centres in the coming years, but Ndebele conceded that existing funding models might prove insufficient.
Most major infrastructure
projects are funded through a three-pronged approach that includes the fiscus (government spending), the end user and private capital.
“The question of roads financing is a challenge we face as a country,” said Ndebele.
“We will look at options such as public/private partnerships, the user-pays principle and other potential sources of funding
so that we avoid overburdening the user.”
Ndebele also said Gauteng’s traffic congestion could not be solved simply by building more roads. - Deon de Lange
- The Star Newspaper