SA transport minister denies KwaZulu-Natal set for e-tolls

SA transport minister denies KwaZulu-Natal set for e-tolls

South African minister of transport Dipuo Peters has denied reports e-tolls will be introduced to KwaZulu-Natal.

“Any decision to introduce any form of tolling in any part of the country will and can only be taken in consultation with authorities in that province and other affected parties, particularly organised civil society, business and consumers,” she said.

Peters said that while the Department of Transport appreciates the need to come up with solutions to resolve the current road infrastructure backlog in South Africa, would-be affected parties would need to be consulted beforehand.

“We are currently focused on resolving some of the challenges emanating from the introduction of electronic tolling in some parts of the Gauteng province. SANRAL [South African Roads Agency Limited] and the service provider responsible for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project should continue to focus on resolving these current challenges,” she said.

Numerous groups have called for the end of e-tolls in the last few months including the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA), with the organisation’s chairperson saying it isonly a matter of time before the policy is reversed.

The South African Taxi Association (SANTACO) last month called on its members toboycott the e-tolling system until the Department of Transport in Gauteng issued licences exempting them from e-tolls in line with a December 2013 ruling.

Peters said residents of North West province should be reassured the government is looking for sustainable solutions to the economic effect of e-tolling in the region.

“A multi-disciplinary team comprising officials of the national Department of Transport, SANRAL, the provincial Department of Transport and labour will continue to engage on this and other related issues. Our aim is to take communities with us whenever we make decisions that would directly or indirectly have an economic impact on their lives,” she said.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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