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E- Tolls Dead, Tech lives on

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Vusi Melane
Vusi Melane
Staff Writer

E-Tolls Officially Abolished: South Africa

E-tolls in Gauteng, South Africa are now officially gone. Last night at 12am all systems went down-

They go down in history as what the residents and motorists of Gauteng province at large call a ‘nightmare.’ This is because the motorists from this province believe that the e-tolls were ‘forced down’ their throats without any ‘proper consultations.’ The motorists also allege that they were ‘not afforded a proper chance to provide their opposing submissions, as that is within their rights.

The E-tolling system comprised the electronic toll collection (ETC) processes implemented by South Africa’s roads agency, Sanral, on designated toll roads or lanes, in accordance with the Sanral Act of 1998. This system operated using state-of-the-art technology, consisting of advanced software and hardware. It included remote monitoring of toll roads via high-tech floodlight cameras strategically mounted on gantries.

Executive Director for Accountability Division at Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse- OUTA, Stefanie Fick says this should be looked at as a victory for the Gauteng province motorists and the general public. “This event calls for a celebration. After years of legal battles eventually the E- tolls collapse. This is the victory for all the people who started rising against the implementation of E- tolls from day one to date.”

Tech side of E- Tolls Intact

The hardware and software for E-tolls technology remain intact, facilitating the system’s regular operations and objectives. Its primary goal is to electronically identify vehicles without engaging in cash transactions on roads or highways.

Vehicle identification is achieved through either an e-tag or a vehicle license plate number, captured by overhead cameras installed on gantries and interpreted by computers. Current valid accounts can still be utilized for toll plaza payments and other value-added services such as parking. This is crucial for ensuring ongoing interoperability and long-term benefits. Gantry lights and cameras will remain operational for road safety and crime prevention purposes.

The E-toll website will undergo updates concerning cancellations, including modifications to Mobility/Tag account functionalities for services like interoperability and parking.

E- toll saga:

  • March 2008: Gauteng Improvement Project Roads Declared as Toll Roads.
  • April 2009: Sanral Invites Bids for Open Road Tolling System.
  • February 2010: National Budget Names Total Cost of GFIP as R22 Billion.
  • April 2011: Start of E- Tolls Pushed Back Over Public Opposition.
  • April 2012: OUTA Wins Interdict Blocking The E- Tolls Switch On.
  • December 2013: E- Toll Gantries Switched on After Several Courts Deem E- Tolls to Be Legal.
  • June 2017: Ony 29% of E- Tolls Bills were Being Paid.
  • October 2022: Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana Announces the End of E- Tolls. GFIP To Proceed with Alternative Funding.
  • April 2024: E- Tolls systems are officially shut down and cease operation. At 12 midnight, 11th of April.
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