Revised tolls still a tax for motorists

The Gauteng provincial government (GPG) on Saturday welcomed Cabinet’s approval of toll tariffs for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP).

“The GPG believes that both the further development of the public transport system and the upgrading and expansion of our roads networks are essential for economic growth and the improvement of the quality of life of our residents,” spokesman Xoli Mngambi said.

Cabinet approved reduced toll tariffs for the GFIP phase A1 on Wednesday.

Motorcycles will pay 24 cents a kilometre, light motor vehicles 40 cents, medium vehicles R1 and “longer” vehicles R2. Qualifying commuter taxis and buses would be exempted entirely.

Mngambi said in a statement the GPG was happy with the exemption.

“This is a significant measure aimed at minimising the impact of tolling on the vast majority of working people in Gauteng.

“In addition, this is a welcome relief, especially for commuters who use public transport on a daily basis.”

He said the GPG were reviewing proposals for the next phase of the project and would consult with the public in September.

Scrap the project
On Friday the African National Congress (ANC) welcomed Cabinet’s “bold” move on the tariffs.

However the Young Communist League (YCL) said it was disgusted by the announcement and asked government to scrap the project entirely, while civil rights group AfriForum said the tolls were reducing motorists to cash cows.

The South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) called on the working class and poor to unite against it.

“Through our marches, demonstrations and pickets we will bring this behemoth to its knees,” Satawu spokeswoman Mamokgethi Molopyane said.

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