Cabinet to gazette e-toll tariffs

Cabinet will make a final decision on the roll out of e-tolling after public comment.

Tolls sign. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Cabinet on Thursday approved the gazetting of updated tariffs, terms and conditions for e-tolling in Gauteng - but said it would only take a final decision on the implementation of the project after a period of public comment.

Eyewitness News on Wednesday reported that the task team with cabinet and recommended tolling be implemented in the province.

A 30-day period of public comment will now be launched to allow people who were not part of previous consultations to give input.

At the end of the 30 days, government will consider the feedback and make its final position public after a further period of 14 days.

Government spokesperson Phumla Williams said cabinet is expected to gazette the proposed tariffs on Friday.

It is understood e-tolls could be rolled out before the end of the year, while a North Gauteng High Court review of the system is scheduled to take place early in November.

The task team led by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe proposed a mix of contributions from the fiscus and e-tolling.

On Tuesday night, Cosatu's Zwelenzima Vavi tweeted: "Today we deadlocked with government on e-tolls - fasten your belts."

Technically, e-tolling cannot be rolled until tariffs are gazetted.

But, Eyewitness News has been told it will realistically be implemented towards the end of December or early January as officials expect the high court review to stretch on for some time.

Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) chairman Wayne Duvenhage said government's position did not come as a surprise.

Duvenhage said he expected Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to announce further government funding for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Programme during his medium-term budget speech.

Gordhan previously pledged R5.8 billion to pay off Gauteng's freeways.

Revenue from the system will pay a R20 billion debt incurred to build the largest toll road in the country.