Economist: Govt isn’t playing open cards about toll costs

A third of the money Gauteng motorists would pay on tolling fees would not go towards the cost of the highway, according to reports on Saturday.

About 20 cents out of every 30 cents paid per kilometre would go to road building costs, head economist at Investment Solutions Chris Hart told Beeld newspaper.

The other 10 cents would go to the collection of the fees.

Hart said this was unnecessary and based his findings on figures announced for the project over the last year.

“That is more or less what I understand the costs to be. I did find that the government isn’t open about all the costs involved with this project.”

Economist at economist.co.za Mike Schüssler agreed with Hart, saying toll fees would be unnecessarily expensive to taxpayers.

Beeld reported that Schüssler based his findings of a third on what Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said last month during his budget speech.

According to the economists there were other systems available that would decrease costs of collecting toll fees.

“There are already mechanisms, like fuel levies, that could be used to collect the money. It will be cheaper and less problematic,” Hart told the newspaper.

Schüssler agreed saying it is possible to get Gauteng motorists to pay a higher fuel levy.

The SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) was not available for comment on Saturday morning. – Sapa

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