No relief for motorists as e-toll prices go up
From 1 March 2019 South African motorists will pay increased toll tariffs across the country. An increase of 4,5% was announced by the South African National Road Agency at the beginning of February this year despite fierce objection by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA).
“This increase will not only impact on road users traveling to work, but also on the price of goods and food being transported by road,” said Rudie Heyneke, OUTA’s Transport Portfolio Manager.
While SANRAL argues that the toll tariff increase is in line with inflation, the state entity fails to clearly communicate that toll fees are but one part of the total transport cost.
“The increase in toll tariffs together with the increased fuel price and additional fuel levies equal an amount far greater than inflation. There is no doubt that these increased transport costs will have an influence on travel plans for the coming Easter Holidays,” added Heyneke.
“The irony is that with a less than 30% compliance rate, paying motorists might say enough is enough and stop their payment of e-tolls. This may result in a further drop in the compliance rate and SANRAL could receive even less income from e-tolls than expected”.
OUTA calls on Government to do a total reassessment of toll tariffs across the country and to establish stronger monitoring and evaluation of toll concessionaire contributions. OUTA has, and continues to be vocal on the lack of transparency regarding the operating models of toll concessionaires.
“One needs to ask, are concessionaires contributing what they should in terms of their contracts with SANRAL and are these tariffs being used for its intended purpose which is the maintenance of roads,” questions Heyneke.