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eToll - latest update from the AA

17 October 2013
 
Don’t buy e-tags… yet
 
Although the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) has acknowledged the Supreme Court of Appeal’s (SCA) decision to allow the tolling of Gauteng’s highway, it is disappointed that the voice of the public has not been heard in this e-tolling saga.
 
The concerns of South African citizens have not been addressed, and it is a travesty that improved road infrastructure, which is so essential to this country, is being layered with unnecessary costs by adopting this particular method of funding when there are cheaper alternatives.
 
Following the SCA court ruling on e-tolls, there is an administrative process that will now follow. The public has until 9 November to comment on the gazetted e-toll tariffs, while a commencement date for e-tolling is yet to be announced.
 
Despite Sanral and the Department of Transport insisting that Gauteng motorists must buy e-tags to use the highways, it is essential to know that there is absolutely no legal requirement to purchase an e-tag. And you cannot be arrested or prosecuted for not owning an e-tag.
 
The ongoing fight against e-tolls has not been about users refusing to pay for improved roads, but rather about the unnecessary, exorbitant and unacceptable additional costs that the e-toll system imposes on the citizens of Gauteng, and which is intended for roll out to more Gauteng highways and other metropolitan areas across the country. Aside from the Sanral maintained highway network, there is a massive backlog in road maintenance across the country.
 
Deteriorating road infrastructure and badly maintained roads have a direct impact on South Africa’s already poor road safety performance.
 
The AA calls on government to provide transparency on what the current national fuel levy of R2.13 per litre, paid by all South African motorists, is being allocated to and for a dedicated fund derived from this levy for road infrastructure improvement to address the road maintenance backlog.
 
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