The Automobile Association (AA) claimed last week that only some of the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) users were informed of the 6,04 per cent increase on toll tariffs from 3 March.
The AA claimed that Sanral’s apparent lack of communication in announcing the increase meant they have again missed an opportunity to engage meaningfully with the public. “We warned last year that Sanral must try and win support from the public, but it seems its attitude to motorists remains arrogant and uncaring.
“We will not be surprised if, given this attitude, and the prevailing economic situation in South Africa, more motorists decide not to pay their tolls. Sanral would do well to remember it is a service provider to their customers, the motorists of South Africa, and yet its attitude conveys the opposite message,” the AA said.
Mona hit back at these reports, calling them misleading. Toll tariffs on national roads, Mona said, were adjusted in line with the Consumer Price Index on 3 March, adding that the Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters, approved the tariffs and the adjustments were gazetted and published on 16 February, allowing time for comments from the public and interested parties. The 6,04 per cent increase in general toll tariffs is to keep track with inflation, Mona said.
The AA has, for a long time, called for toll fees to be replaced with a ring-fenced amount as part of the general fuel levy so that motorists aren’t paying tax twice for the use of public roads. But Sanral said that including a provincial fuel levy would be approximately 3,44 times higher than a national fuel levy.
If you have not stayed up to date with your e-toll debt, you will still be required to settle existing accounts. You can repay it with a one-off 60 per cent discount on the arrears and an option to pay over six months. But many road users are still going with the option of not making any payments at all.
Road users are still getting accounts that could, if you are not a registered e-toll payer, cost you over R700 a month. The agency’s spokesperson Vusi Mona reminded that the tariffs include a monthly cap for registered e-toll users.
“There is a R250 per month cap for vehicles of Sanral account holders. This has not changed and remains applicable irrespective of the number of gantry passes or the distance travelled on Gauteng e-toll roads.”
Unregistered road users will, however, have to pay the increased tariffs on the GFIP road. Taxis and public transport buses also remain entirely exempt from toll fees.