Plans to repurpose electronic toll infrastructure are underway. Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi recently announced that the technology will be used for a variety of purposes, including fighting crimes such as hijackings and vehicle theft.
This after Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana announced the removal of electronic tolls.
The Treasury is proposing to set aside almost R24 billion to cancel the electronic tolling debt of the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), with the remaining 30% being paid by the Gauteng government.
The Gauteng government has welcomed the removal of electronic tolls.
He says he will engage other stakeholders in the meantime to see how they can use existing structures to fight crime, among other things.
Spokesman for Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, Vuyo Mhaga, said: “Finally, the people of Gauteng will stop paying the electronic toll. The Prime Minister has set up a team that will be able to deal with the terms and negotiations with Sanral, as well as the Treasury in terms of technical details and how the 30% debt for Gauteng will be resolved.
Electronic tolling was introduced in December 2013 as a pay-per-user system aimed at collecting revenue from motorists using Gauteng’s highways.
It covered a network of 187 km of roads, mainly those leading to Johannesburg.
The multi-billion rand project was managed by Sanral.
However, it was met with enormous resistance from the public, the Organization Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) and taxi associations.
This is how road users have responded to the death knell of electronic tolls.
“The only question I have right now is, what took them so long? Finally, this government woke up and listened to the people. Electronic tolls were just one of their mistakes. Hope the crime fighting approach works. Maybe we can finally rely on them for safety. I’m so excited it’s finally over, no more spam in my inbox.
Mhanga says a law enforcement agency is currently working on CCTV cameras in different parts of Gauteng.
Training and personnel will be reinforced.
He says the details of the plan will be described in due form.
The video below is the full interview with Outa’s Wayne Duvenage: