Toll-road tariffs to increase

Toll-road costs across the country will go up from March, the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) said on Friday.

Nazir Alli, CEO of Sanral, said the adjustment had been approved by the Minister of Transport, Sibusiso Ndebele, and would be effective on all toll routes in the country from March 1.

“The tariffs are adjusted in accordance with the preceding 12-month consumer price index [CPI],” he said.

Spokesperson Alice Matthews explained Sanral took the CPI figures of the period between November 2008 and November 2009, which was 7,91%, and increased the toll tariffs by this percentage.

“We then rounded the numbers off to the nearest rand,” she said.

Most of the toll tariffs in the country were increased, except for a handful of toll roads where the rates were very low.

“Roads are not only viewed as the arteries of our country’s economy, but are also crucial for the furthering of government’s goals to improve the quality of life of all our citizens,” said Alli.

“The entrenched benefits of roads can only be realised if we have well-maintained roads that support South Africa’s economy and social upliftment of its people.”

Alli said toll financing enabled the government to add capacity like new highways or additional lanes that cannot otherwise be financed under current and projected allocations.

“The ‘user-pay’ principle is a constructive means of ensuring the delivery of a well-maintained road infrastructure,” he said.

“Income from the tax base is therefore able to meet other prioritised sectors within the broader South African context.”

He said South Africa’s long-term economic success was inextricably linked to the efficiency of the transport system.

Matthews said the Open Road Toll gates in Gauteng were expected to become operational in April 2011 on the N1, N3, N12 and a part of the N17. These toll gates will operate electronically, without toll plazas being erected.

There will also be a new toll plaza erected at the King Shaka Airport ramp on the N2 near Durban in the second quarter of 2010. — Sapa

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