E-tags valid for all toll roads

But e-tolling only in Gauteng for now

E-tags valid for all SA toll roads
Gauteng Freeways

E-tags bought for Gauteng freeways will soon be valid at toll plazas across the country, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) revealed during a media briefing in Midrand yesterday.

But this did not mean the e-tolling system would be extended to the rest of the country.

"We want to use this technology at the very toll system that we... [presently] have. There is a roll-out programme within the existing programme," a Sapa report quoted Sanral project manager, Alex van Niekerk, as saying .

"There is no decision by government as far as what happens to other provinces," transport department spokesman Tiyani Rikhotso said.

E-tags can be purchased at Shoprite, Checkers Hyper, Pick n Pay and service centres for R49.95. This would be credited to the user's account once the tag was registered.

Van Niekerk said by using e-tags, motorists would get through toll plazas without having to stop and pay, reducing congestion.

Van Niekerk said 10 000 motorists were already using e-tags at the Bakwena Toll Plaza, on the N4.

He said the roll-out of the e-tag system would not necessitate the building of gantries on all highways, as had happened in Gauteng.

In October, Cabinet approved the gazetting of terms and conditions of e-tolls and revised tariffs were released. The announcement marked the beginning of the 30-day period for further public consultation.

 After the consultation process, the transport minister would have 14 days to make a decision. Another 14 days would be set aside for gazetting the final tariffs.

 Rikhotso said: "We are quite satisfied that the four to five months that government halted the implementation of e-tolling was sufficient to ensure that we listen to all concerns that parties had and take them on board as we move forward."

Sanral held a media tour of its operations centre in Midrand yesterday. A total of 1 300 people were employed at the centre. Some divisions worked 24 hours a day.

When a vehicle passed under a gantry, it was photographed and classified. The system then verified that all details matched the registered e-toll account.

The verification process was also conducted manually at the centre before invoices were sent to motorists without e-tags.

Van Niekerk said the e-toll technology was used in responding to accidents on the highways and alerting the public on radio about traffic flow.

 There were vehicles on the road which operated as mobile offices and offered help to motorists. Registration for e-tags was a "little slow" compared to the 500 000 people who had registered for e-tags by April, he said.

 Non-paying motorists would be prosecuted.


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