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E-tolls go live

Sanral is expected to update the nation this morning on how its systems have been coping since launching.

Gauteng's multibillion rand e-tolling network was switched on at midnight on 3 December. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng's multibillion rand e-tolling network has gone live without any reported glitches.

The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) is expected to give the nation an update this morning about how its gantries and computer systems have fared since the launch at midnight.

The launch follows a year-and-a-half-of legal battles and protests with the latest court bid to interdict the controversial project collapsing yesterday.

Since the gantries were switched on, it appears it's been smooth sailing for the project with no major glitches or damage reported.

Protests and meetings opposing the system's launch will be held this morning by numerous organisations like the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the Democratic Alliance.

Critics say Sanral isn't ready to handle the kind of volume of transactions required to run the system.

But it remains to be seen what impact these efforts will have on the effectiveness of the system.

Yesterday saw a last minute rush for e-tags and it's expected Sanral will announce that more than a million motorists have now registered.

In September, President Jacob Zuma signed the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill into law which effectively gave the green light for the controversial system to be implemented.

'DRIVERS WILL EVENTUALLY COOPERATE'

Eyewitness News commissioned market research company Ask Afrika to conduct a snap survey of the province's drivers a day ahead of the launch.

The story which emerged is that nine out of 10 people had waited until the last moment to buy their e-tags, but a third of the 220 people asked said they will eventually cooperate.

The company's Paidi Mugudubi says the research has found that the majority of motorists are willing to switch to alternate routes, but don't believe these will cope if flooded with extra cars.

Sanral has urged motorists not to break the law or face living with a criminal record.

SOCIAL MEDIA

There's anger on social networks from motorists who've driven under the gantries and will now be paying for it.

Tweets about e-tolling have already started streaming in:

Motorists will just learn to tol..e(rate) the e-tolls, like we've been tolerating #Nkandla

And the e-tolls go live #dontbuyetags #etolls

Let the mugging begin #e-tolls day 1.

Tomorrow me is gonna be a law abiding citizen and approach the license office on how to register my fleet of cars as taxis! #etolls

Like the World did not end when ANC signed Gay Marriage, Abortion and other unpopular bills, the world won't end because of e-tolls.

Two best ways to unite a nation: host a FIFA World Cup, and introduce e-tolls

People should pay for E-tolls wheeeeeen Zuma pays for Nkandla. #HowAboutThat ;)

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