South Africa National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) says e-toll gantries won’t be used for the proposed N1/N2 Winelands Toll Highway Project in the Western Cape. Instead of e-tolls, the project will have traditional barrier tolls rather than the automated systems which were switched on last December in Gauteng. E-tolls were introduced in Gauteng due to large number of motorists that used the province’s highways and made it impossible to use the boom gates.
According to IOL News, SANRAL Project Engineer, Tiago Massingue said on Tuesday, the Winelands Toll Highway Project would introduce conventional booths, rather than e-toll gantries. “It’s a boom-down situation where you go, you stop, you pay and you go.”
Massingue added:” Tolls are a small component of the overall project. In money term, it’s not even 20 percent. The bulk of the cost is for upgrades. it’s wrong to assume the Treasury will always have money but, regardless of who pays, the upgrades and improvements remain crucial.”
The proposed route along N1 extends from the west of R300 interchange through to Sandhills. The N2 portion of the proposed road concession extends from west of the R300 to Bot River. About 180 km of highway in the province will be tolled should the project go ahead.
SANRAL has been in a legal battle with the City of Cape Town since they proposed tolling parts of the N1 and N2 road in the Western Cape. SANRAL hopes Western Cape High Court will rule on its favor in a case about the constitutionality of the law governing e-tolls. The Democratic Alliance (DA) took SANRAL to court and argued that the bill was incorrectly tagged as Section 75 Bill and should have been debated in the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces.
SANRAL has been highly criticised by the public when Gauteng e-tolls were introduced just before Christmas last year. E-tolls require road users to get e-tags by registering. Road users are expected to pay a monthly cap of R550 and also get discounts. Those who are not tagged choose not to get registered and e-tagged can pay three times the standard e-toll tariffs.
Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee member, Brett Herron said, “ This government remains opposed to the tolling of the N1 and N2 and will do everything in our power to prevent this from being imposed on our city and our residents.”
A ruling is expected later this month.
Sources: htx, iol, ewn, m&g