There is a huge difference between rural tolls, and tolling in the urban environment. The South African public has generally come to accept paying toll fees on the major freight routes such as the N1, N3 and N4. Freight companies are able to include these fees into their contracts and operating costs as a known factor.
Urban tolls are a completely different kettle of fish altogether. Long distance freight movement ends at a distributor. That distributor uses a much larger fleet of vehicles to distribute goods all over the province and each trip on the Gauteng freeway network is going to attract fees of up to R3.96 per kilometre.
On an individual basis – assuming that the current discounts apply on the latest tariff per kilometre – it will cost anything between R300 to well over R1000 extra per month just to commute – however if an eTag is used, the cost is capped at R550 per month, thanks to the latest concession from government.
And it gets even worse if you are in business. Expect annual operating budget to be stretched by six figures or more!
There’s no denying the benefits from travelling on a superb road – but the associated cost in this case may not just be restricted to the paying user.
Introduce an urban toll and, regardless of the cost per km, it is going to hurt the economy. And the costs associated with collecting the toll is in itself a large part of the cost per kilometre.