DA welcomes toll road task team

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has welcomed Cabinet’s decision to appoint a task team to look into the Gauteng tolling system.

“This is a victory for the DA’s TollfreeGP anti-toll campaign,” the DA’s Gauteng leader Jack Bloom said in a statement on Sunday.

The Transport Department announced on Saturday that a task team had been formed and would include, among others, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Bloom said it was hoped that other members of the team would be representatives of business, labour and civil society.

“The DA suggests that this team reviews the R14-billion contract with the Electronic Toll Collection Consortium, which is utterly exorbitant.

“It is ridiculous to pay so much for a very complex toll collection system that will probably not work in South African conditions.”

He said the “sensible” alternative was to fund the roads through a dedicated fuel levy or from general taxation.

The current tariff proposal, which Cabinet has approved a reduction of, comes into effect in August next year.

It will be on the N1 highway between Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Motorcyclists would be charged 24c/km, light motor vehicles 40c/km, medium vehicles R1/km, and “longer” vehicles R2/km. Taxis and buses were exempted.

The DA recently launched a resistance campaign through social networking sites. The party was also planning protest marches.

Plans to put up toll gate structures on the N1 and N2 in Cape Town have also been met with resistance.

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