Johannesburg — Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi has urged Gauteng motorists to register for the e-tolling system and get their e-tags ahead of the implementation of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Programme (GFIP).
"Registering for e-tolling is the right thing to do. We want all motorists in the province to register for their e-tolling accounts so that they can get their e-tags," said Vadi during a post-State of the Province Address media briefing at the Gauteng Legislature on Tuesday.
The implementation of the e-tolls system was halted in January after a public outcry over the fees. However, government is set to commence the programme from 30 April after Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced a special approbation of R5.8 billion to reduce the toll burden on motorists as a result of the GFIP.
The R5.8 billion, to be included in the 2011/12 expenditure, is aimed at reducing the debt to be repaid through the toll system, and will make a steeper discount possible for regular road users. The contribution by government will ensure that tariffs are reduced by up to half the price for e-tag holders.
The total debt associated with Gauteng freeway programme is R20 billion.
Some unions have since rejected the proposal and are planning a march against the implementation of the e-toll system.
Last week, Cabinet approved the Gauteng tolling system with effect from 30 April, with the tolling fees scheduled to be gazetted this week.
Cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi warned that the law would take its course against those planning to disrupt the implementation of the system.
"This is a legal matter and Cabinet will not tolerate any disobedience to the law. It must be clear that if anyone is not obeying the law, then the law will take its course... We are marching forward and people must not have any illusions that this will go away, the tolls are a reality," he said.
The new fee structure will see drivers of e-tag vehicles pay 30 cents a kilometer, instead of 66 cents as originally planned.
There will also be a monthly cap of R550 for frequent users. In addition, there will be a 15 percent discount in the rates after their toll fees reach R400.
Drivers of motorcycles will pay 20c per kilometre and non-articulated and articulated trucks would pay 75c and R1.51 per kilometre respectively.
Heavy vehicles will qualify for a 20 percent discount if they use the roads during off-peak times in the day.
Taxis and other public transport operators will be exempt from toll fees.