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'Buy an eTag'

By Sapa | Apr 13, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 16 ]

Motorists do not have to buy e-tags to use Gauteng’s toll roads, but it makes economic sense to do so, says Treasury director general Lungisa Fuzile

“Whilst it makes economic sense from the individual road user’s point of view to buy the e-tags to save, you don’t have to have a tag to use the road,” he said at the Reuters economist of the year awards in Johannesburg.

“Therefore Sanral [the SA National Roads Agency Limited] does not need you to have a tag in order to track the person down and deliver the bill relating to the use of the road,” he said.

Motorists will have to pay to use major highways around Johannesburg and Tshwane from April 30, with payment through an automated number-plate reading system.

A recent march by the Congress of SA Trade Unions highlighted opposition to the tolls, which many motorists are threatening not to pay.

Fuzile said he accepted that there was an argument that some people need to be cushioned from the user-pay principle.

“But to reject the user-pay principle and expect someone else to pay was 'bad economics’.” 

“To say ’phansi with user pay’ [down with user pay]... is problematic. It takes things too far,” he said.

In London, vehicle users had to pay a congestion charge, just because the roads were clogged, he said.

The fee had nothing to do with whether the roads were good, or whether the road user was making savings on vehicle wear and tear.

In South Africa, the roads were good, and road users were getting a good deal.

Fuzile said that when it was decided to toll the roads to fund the upgrades (in Cabinet in 2007), the economy was doing well and the recession of 2008/09 was yet to come.

He conceded that people were now feeling the pinch and that the tolls were hard to digest.

However, rejecting the user-pay principal was unhelpful and did not make economic sense.

In his Budget in February, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced that drivers of ordinary vehicles would pay 30 cents a kilometre, instead of the original 66 cents. Fees would be capped at R550 for frequent users and taxis. Other accredited public transport providers would not have to pay the e-tag fee. Heavy vehicles will would get a 20% discount if they travelled off peak. Gordhan allocated R7.57 billion to Sanral for the financial year towards the R20 billion debt it had incurred to upgrade the roads.

“We are convinced that this is actually a good deal, and therefore it doesn’t require a contingency. Plan A is Plan B and vice versa,” said Fuzile.

After his address, he presented the Thomson-Reuters Economist of the Year Award to Dennis Dykes, chief economist at Nedbank.


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I aint buying that for sh!t!! sue me!!

Apr 13, 2012 12:9 | 0 replies

let the president and sbu ndebele bu y and pay e- tags for everybody

Apr 13, 2012 3:52 | 0 replies

Another difference is that most of the money collected by the City of London stayed in London - it did not emigrate to Austria.

Also they did not spend an estimated R40billion to make the roads better and then tolled them to reduce congestion.

'bad economics’ is to overspend on something that nobody can afford, you twit.

Apr 13, 2012 3:44 | 0 replies

This guy is a joke, public transport is London is way advance that siyaya, Inyathi so before u run ur mouth you should improve public transport first the u can run ur mouth till then shut the f@ck up.

Apr 13, 2012 3:1 | 0 replies

Economist ya go ny'ela, talking right out of his anu's, can you really compare London to Gauteng in terms of transport, the only thing we have in common is that their companies and government run both these towns.

Apr 13, 2012 2:59 | 0 replies

You can use all the fancy word you want

FACT: F**&^ e-tolls and e-tags........ I AM NOT GOING TO BE E-TOLL(IFIED)......... YOU CAN KISS MY BLACK A$$................

Apr 13, 2012 2:35 | 0 replies

The treasury director general's info is not substantive enough to convince tall payers.he should go back to the drawing board and try again, maybe he will convince us,BECAUSE WE ARE NOT GOING TO PAY.
He should know that the poeple of south africa feels that instead of the government helping us with our tax contributions, we are helping it to help us by paying more wonder all this public officials are squandering our money.they can can sense the provision shortsightedness of their leaders.

Apr 13, 2012 2:18 | 0 replies

You Anc" African national criminals will never day light robber me I will use my national transport wayawaya: Viva Metrorail Viva

Apr 13, 2012 1:56 | 0 replies

This will teach them a lesson that they should have consulted before with the public rather than construct these "white elephants" structures and then try and convince us about their usefulness and how they will benefit us. We are not interested in their failed theories and arguments. We will simply not comply, that's it..

Apr 13, 2012 1:39 | 0 replies

Sowetan, why're you rejecting my comments mara yeh?

Apr 13, 2012 1:38 | 0 replies

They can try to make sense of this e toll, the truth is that ITS A CRAB!

Apr 13, 2012 1:22 | 0 replies