Sanral to improve SA roads - Martins

Transport Minister Ben Martins on Tuesday delivered his budget speech in Parliament.

FILE: Transport Minister Ben Martins speaks at the refurbishment of N1/N12 Highway on 30 January 2013. Picture: Shain Germaner/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Transport Minister Ben Martins on Tuesday said his department would focus its latest budget on maintaining roads, upgrading rail routes and developing public transport.

Martins delivered his budget speech in Parliament earlier where he explained how over R40 billion would be spent.

He did not mention the controversial Gauteng e-tolling project but spoke about the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) and the work it was doing to maintain roads.

Martins said Sanral would continue to look after its 17,000 kilometres of road.

"Sanral awarded 202 contracts to new works, rehabilitation and improvement, periodic and special maintenance, routine road maintenance, community development, supervision and other activities to the value of R11.6 billion with R9.5 billion being spent on non-toll roads."

E-tolling is due to launch soon.

Sanral says after the 30-day period and once President Jacob Zuma has signed another bill into law, e-tolling will be launched.

On Friday, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) cancelled its protest march against e-tolling after they failed to get permission to march on Gauteng highways.

The trade union federation and the Opposition to Urban Tolling (Outa) are against the controversial system.

The church recently joined in opposing the toll system but Sanral maintains there is no turning back.