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E-Tolls Exit, Tech Yields

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Vusi Melane
Vusi Melane
Staff Writer

Today at midnight E- tolls will come to an abrupt end in the Province of Gauteng. This comes after a prolonged battle. The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA), Gauteng motorists, and the general public have fervently opposed the Department of Transport regarding e-tolls. Gauteng motorists have persistently fought for the abolishment of e-tolls over the years.

At the end of last month, Minister of Transport Sindisiwe Chikunga published a notice in the Government Gazette regarding the withdrawal of the toll declaration for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Projects, commonly known as e-tolls. This declaration shall take effect today- April 11, 2024, at 23:59, signifying that as of tomorrow- April 12, 2024, road users will no longer incur charges for utilizing the e-toll network. Consequently, e-tolls will cease to exist after midnight today. Nevertheless, the ring roads included in this program will continue to serve as national roads. Chikunga says ” The obligation to pay e-toll remains till midnight today. Road-users will not be required to do anything when e-tolling is cancelled.”

She says the E- toll outlets will remain open to service active accounts. “The e-toll stores will remain open as the tag can still be used for interoperability, account queries and other potential transport related services that will be determined in due course. The e-toll branding will be removed in phases. E-toll invoices will be rolled up until the last day and issued up until this period. Due to potential delays in the postal system, invoices will still be received some time after 12 April 2024. However, no transactions post-midnight on 11 April 2024 will appear on the invoice or statement.”

Technology Remains

E- toll’s state-of-the-art technology: hardware and software remain intact. This will help the system to administer its work and purpose. The purpose of identifying vehicles electronically without any cash transactions taking place on the road or highway. A vehicle Identification that is facilitated by an e-tag or a vehicle license plate number which is recorded by overhead cameras installed on gantries and interpreted by computer.

” Importantly, ‘current valid accounts’ can still be used for payments at toll plazas and other Value-Added Services like Parking. This is critical for the ongoing, long-term benefit of inter-operability. The tag beeps will stop after midnight tonight. The gantry lights and cameras will remain on for road safety purposes. The e-toll website will be updated with respect to the cancellation, including Mobility/Tag account functionality for services as interoperability and parking.” added Chikunga

Chikunga made this announcement during the recent media briefing attended by Gauteng Premier- Panyaza Lesufi, MEC of Transport and Logistics in the Province of Gauteng- Kedibone Diale-Tlabela, Special Advisors to the Minister and the Premier
The Deputy Director-General for Roads in the National Department of Transport- Chris Hlabisa, SANRAL Board Chair- Themba Mhambi and Board members
SANRAL CEO- Reginald Demana and executives and staff of national roads agency
Officials from the National Treasury, Department of Transport, Gauteng Provincial Government and SANRAL.

The government has officially confirmed in a statement that the Minister of Transport- Sindisiwe Chikunga, the Minister of Finance- Enoch Godongwana, and the Gauteng Premier- Panyaza Lesufi, reached an agreement towards the end of March this year. This agreement pertains to resolving the debt stemming from e-tolls. Consequently, they have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to formalize alternative funding solutions for the GFIP debt repayment and to address the backlog of maintenance and rehabilitation costs.

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