Motorists bite the bullet as road tolls loom

WITH the imminent arrival of the Open Road Toll system on Johannesburg's freeway network, some motorists who use the freeways will be hit hard financially.

A case in point is Obakeng Mokoena, 54, a human resources manager who travels from Spruitview, Ekurhuleni, to Pretoria's CBD five times a week.

A return trip from Spruitview to Pretoria and back is 152km (76km single trip).

Mokoena's diesel Nissan Hardbody double cab has a fuel capacity of 84 litres. He uses at least 80 litres for his daily commute between his home and workplace.

With the diesel price currently at R8,56, Mokoena spends R684,80 a week on fuel. This translates into R2739,20 a month.

The introduction of the Open Road Toll system will significantly increase his monthly costs.

Travelling along the N3 freeway between Spruitview and Pretoria, Mokoena will pass through at least six toll points each way.

Based on current per kilometre tariff prices (50c a kilometre) Mokoena will pay R1520 in monthly toll fees.

Busani Ndlovu, who travels from Irene in Tshwane to Rosebank, said the new system would hit her hard financially.

"If the addition to my monthly expenses was R500 I could afford. Anything more than that would be crazy," she said.

Based on the current tariff estimate her 70km round trip on the N1 will set her back R700 in monthly toll fees.

Ndlovu told Sowetan she spent R1600 a month on fuel for her BMW 3 Series but admitted that there were other concerns.

"There is no communication at all. I don't know how much I am really going to pay once this new system is implemented," Ndlovu said.

When Sowetan told her of a registration process she had to undergo Ndlovu asked: "What registration? I didn't know I had to register my car."

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